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lprofestbafn's ©rtental Series 
Vol. VI. 
















11 If through the Bactrian Empire European ideas were trans- 
mitted to the Far East, through that and similar channels 
Asiatic ideas found their way to Europe." — Draper : Intellectual 
Development of Europe, I. ii. 

Gita, XL 

"In the profound obscurity which envelops the history of 
Bactria, we must cull with care all that can throw the least light 

Upon it." — SCHLEGEL. 




PREFACE - - - - xi 

INTRODUCTION ----- xiii 



EMPIRE - - - - 18 



DENCE - - - - 50 



RULE IN THE EAST - - - - 109 




EUCRATIDES - - - - 153 



WEST OF INDIA - - - - 161 

BACTRIA - - - - - 164 

INDEX - - - - - 171 








I have to express my obligations to many whose 
kindness has enabled me to obtain access to the 
materials necessary for the publication of this mono- 
graph. Some years ago, through the courtesy of 
Mr. F. W. Thomas, I was permitted to use the India 
Office Library. Mr. H. H. Lake, Superintending 
Engineer of the Gwalior State, has provided me with 
a drawing and other details of the famous Bactrian 
pillar at Besnagar. This drawing was copied for me 
by Lieutenant M. G. G. Campbell, B.E., who was 
also good enough to prepare the valuable maps which 
greatly enhance the utility of the book. I have also 
to acknowledge the generous aid of the authorities 
of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in defraying the 
expenses of the original edition. Lastly, I am deeply 
indebted to Professor E. J. Bapson, Professor of 
Sanskrit in the University of Cambridge, for his 
unfailing interest and invaluable advice. Professor 
Bapson has been kind enough to read through the 



proof-sheets of this edition, and to add many sug- 
gestions and corrections. 

I should, perhaps, add that as this work is intended 
for the general reader, the tiresome diacritical marks 
which are the fashion in Oriental works have been 


Poona, 1912. 


The object of this book is to investigate the history 
of the great Iranian province which formed the 
eastern portion of the Persian Empire, and which, 
after the Macedonian invasion, became an indepen- 
dent Greek kingdom. The valiant Greeks who ruled 
the country were afterwards driven over the Hindu- 
Kush, where they maintained themselves for nearly a 
century longer, finally succumbing to the tribes from 
the north which had originally displaced them. Thus 
it will be seen that the history of Bactria falls naturally 
into four divisions. Passing over the mass of legend 
which surrounds the earliest period, centred chiefly 
round the figure of Zarathustra Spitama, we find 
ourselves on more solid ground when we come to 
deal with Bactria as a satrapy of the Persian Empire. 
After the overthrow of Persia by Alexander we enter 
upon the second phase in the history of the country 
— its subjugation and settlement by the Macedonians. 
The third period begins with the revolt of Diodotus in 
250 b.c, when Bactria assumes the role of an inde- 



pendent Greek kingdom, extending its sway not only 
over Sogdiana to the north, but over a great portion 
of the modern Afghanistan and the Panjab. The 
closing chapter of the history of the Bactrian Greeks 
commences with their evacuation of the country 
north of the Hindu-Kush, when they made Sagala 
their capital, and ends with their final supersession 
by the Kushan monarchs. 


Beferences in Classical Literature. — The history 
of early Iran is involved in the greatest obscurity, and 
we are able to glean very little trustworthy informa- 
tion about Bactria before the foundation of the Persian 
Empire. The legends of the Avesta and the later 
Persian literature (especially the Shahnama of 
Firdousi) are not meant for serious history; they 
merely preserve in a poetic garb half-forgotten 
traditions of a time when Bactria was a small, inde- 
pendent kingdom, struggling for existence against the 
" Turanian " nomads. The only outstanding person- 
ality is that of Zoroaster, and the references to him 
may be founded upon a substratum of fact. Ctesias, 
a Greek physician at the court of Artaxerxes Mnemon, 
is the earliest Western author who attempted to write 
a history of early Iran. His long residence in the 
country, and access to state archives, gave him a 
unique opportunity, which, unfortunately, he utterly 
misused. Without critical faculty, and, like most 
Greeks, quite oblivious of the necessity of studying 
the classical tongue of the land, he records any wild 
fables and improbable tales he happens to pick up. 



His stories of Semiramis, his legends of Zoroaster and 
the Scythian expedition of Cyrus the Great, and a 
host of other gossiping tales, passed into later history, 
and are reproduced without question by later writers. 
Aristotle discovered his untrustworthiness ; his 
opinion is confirmed by the inscriptions, Herodotus, 
and Jewish history. We only know of Ctesias through 
the abridgements of Photius, the Byzantine ecclesiastic. 
Berosus, the Chaldean priest who wrote a great history 
of Babylonia, Media, and Persian about the time of 
Alexander the Great, probably preserved a mass of 
information which would have thrown light on the 
early history of Bactria. 

For the Persian Empire we have, of course, the 
excellent first-hand evidence of Herodotus, of whom 
it is unnecessary to speak here. Herodotus, alas ! 
carries us down to the Battle of Mycale only, and 
from 479 to 330 b.c. there is a great gap in our 
knowledge of Eastern Iran. A few scattered notices 
in books like the Bibliotheca of Diodorus of Sicily, a 
contemporary of Julius Caesar, is all that we hear of 
Bactria for over a century. 

Two historians have collected minute details of 
Alexander's campaign in Bactria. Of these, incom- 
parably the greater is Arrian, a brilliant and versatile 
member of the Imperial Civil Service under the 
Emperor Hadrian. Scholar, soldier, and philosopher, 
Arrian was well fitted for the great task he undertook. 
The Anabasis is based on the works of Ptolemy and 
Aristobulus, first-rate material, admirably employed. 


That delightful book, De Rebus Gestis Alexandri 
Magni, of Quintus Gurtius, 1 belongs to a different 
order of literature. It is a popular book on a great 
subject, and the author's own ignorance of technical 
details of geography and tactics is made worse by his 
rather indiscriminate use of his authorities. One of 
them, Cleitarchus, is suspected, on one occasion at 
least, of eking out history with a dash of romance. 
On the other hand, Gurtius does not trust his 
authorities blindly ; 2 he mentions at least one episode 
omitted by Arrian; 3 and on the question of the 
locality of Zariaspa, the mysterious Bactrian town 
about which there is so much disagreement, he is 
much the clearer of the two. 4 

For the history of the Bactrian kings from the 
revolt of Diodotus to their extinction, our only 
authority is Justin, 5 the author of a work entitled 
Trogi Pompei Philippicarum Epitoma, a "kind of 
anthology," 6 as he calls it, of the " Philippic history " 
of Trogus, an historian of the reign of Augustus. The 
original work is now lost, but Justin preserves innu- 
merable facts about the revolt of Parthia and Bactria, 
and the Bactrian rulers of India, which are of inestim- 
able value. Justin has often been blamed for his 

1 Date uncertain. He probably lived in the reign of Claudius 

2 E.g., De Beb. GesL, IX. 11, 21. 

3 The massacre of the Branchiadse, perhaps passed over ou t 
of shame by Arrian and his authorities. 

4 See ch. i., sub fin., of the De Beb. Gest. Alex. Mag. 
6 About a.d. 500. 

6 " Velut florum corpusculum." 


xviii BACTEIA 

inaccuracy. " Trogus is a sad historian, or Justus 
a vile abridger," remarks an eighteenth-century 
translator ; " but as we have the testimony of famous 
men in favour of Trogus, Justin will stand condemned." 
This is ungrateful. He wrote, as Adolf Holm re- 
marks, "for a circulating library public," and not for 
scholars. After a quite disproportionate popularity 
in the Middle Ages, Justin has been almost forgotten, 
and until a few years ago was treated by the modern 
editor with very scant courtesy. The only recent 
edition is the admirable French one by Gamier 
Freres, with a useful introduction and notes. 

Strabo's Geography is another valuable authority 
for the history of Bactria. This work is a veritable 
mine of information about the tribes of Central Asia 
and India, as far as was known in the writer's days. 
Incidentally, Strabo adds a great many remarks 
about the history of the countries he describes, and 
in the case of Bactria and Bactrian India these are 

A great many references of more or less value to 
the study of this subject occur in a variety of authors, 
from Clement of Alexandria to Isidore of Seville and 
the Byzantine historians. A considerable number of 
these have been collected by J. W. McCrindle in his 
series of translations of references to the East in 
Greek and Latin writers {Ancient India as described 
by Classical Authors, five vols. London, 1896). 

For the history of Menander, of which fragments 


are preserved by Justin and Strabo, we have valuable 
evidence in the Pali philosophical dialogue, The 
Questions of Milinda, translated by Dr. Ehys Davids 
(Sacred Books of the East, XXXV. -XXXVI.). The 
question how far this work is a mere romance, written 
like Xenophon's Cyropadia, " non ad historic fidem 
sed ad effigiem justi imperii," is not yet satisfactorily 

The Chinese writers who refer to the Scythian 
tribes which overthrew the Bactrian Greeks can only 
be consulted by the ordinary student in translations. 
The questions arising from their statements have 
been discussed in a number of articles from the pens 
of MM. Chavannes, Specht, and Sylvain L6vi, and 
Messrs. F. W. Thomas, Fleet, and V. A. Smith, in 
the various Oriental journals. The most useful books 
dealing with this particular subject are probably 
Deguigne's Eecherches sur quelques Evenements qui 
concernent VHistoire des Rois Grecs de la Bactriane 
(Mem. de FAcad. des Inscrip. xxv.) and Dr. Otto 
Franke's Beitrage axis Chinesischen Quellen zurKenntnis 
der Turkovolker und Skythen Zentralasiens (Berlin, 
1904). The standard English translation of the 
records of the Chinese pilgrims, from Fa-Hian 
(a.d. 400) to Hiuen Tsiang (a.d. 629), is BeaFs 
Buddhist Records of the Western World, in Trubner's 
Oriental Series. Hiuen Tsiang has recently been 
retranslated by Watters (Oriental Translation Fund, 
R.A.S., vols, xiv., xv.). 


Modern Authorities. — These may be divided into 
three classes: (a) History of Bactria and the sur- 
rounding countries ; (b) Numismatics ; (c) Books deal- 
ing with Graeco-Indian art and the problem of the 
possibility of the influence of Greek culture upon 

History of Bactria. — The earliest attempt to eluci- 
date the history of the Indo-Greeks was made by 
Bayer, in a book published in St. Petersburg in 1798. 
Another early work was that of Thomas Maurice 
(1802), entitled The Modern History of Hindoostan, 
comprehending that of the Greek Empire of Bactria, 
and Other Great Asiatic Kingdoms bordering on its 
Western Frontier. But the first really scientific con- 
tribution to the history of this part of the world is 
Horace Hayman Wilson's magnificent Ariana Antiqua 
(1841), a monumental work of the highest value. 
Lassen's Indische Alterthums-kunde, and Spiegel's 
Eranische Alterthumer (Leipsic, 1878), are still useful 
upon many points. For the history of Parthia, 
Bawlinson's Sixth Oriental Monarchy remains an 
authoritative work. Professor von Gutschmidt, of 
Tubingen, has dealt at length with Bactrian problems 
in his contribution to the ninth edition of the 
Encyclopaedia Britannica (s.v. "Persia," § 2). His 
Geschichte Irans (1888) is a serviceable book, 
" abounding in brilliant, if over-bold conjectures," as 
a recent critic observes. The principal works dealing 
with Syria and the Seleucids are M. Babelon's Rois de 
Syrie, and the admirable House of Seleucus of Mr. E. R 


Bevan. Mr. V. A. Smith, in his recent book, The 
Early History of India (Oxford, 1904), deals briefly 
but thoroughly with the whole question. 1 

Numismatics. — The history of the Bactrio-Greeks 
depends very largely upon coins, which link together 
the gaps between the scattered notices found in the 
classical writers. The magnificent coinage of the 
Bactrian Empire shows that the Greek conquerors 
must have been a people of high culture, and not the 
small settlement of semi-civilized veterans they are 
sometimes represented as being. These coins have 
been unearthed in great numbers, a fact in itself con- 
clusively proving the prosperity of the Greeks in 
India. Many of them were struck by kings who are 
otherwise unknown to history, and a great deal of 
ingenuity has been displayed in the endeavour to 
arrange them in their proper chronological order. 

The older discoveries of Wilson and Van Prinsep 2 
are now embodied in more recent works. The chief 
book bearing on Bactrian numismatics is Gardner's 
Catalogue of the Coins of Greek and Scythic Kings of 
Bactria aud India in the British Museum. The same 
author has also issued a catalogue of the coins of the 
Seleucid kings, while Mr. Warwick Wroth deals with 
those of the Parthians. All these works contain 

1 The eleventh edition of the Encyclopcedia Britannica 
contains an article on "Bactria" from the pen of Dr. Ed. 
Meyer. No new information, however, is given. It has a 
useful bibliography. 

2 Prinsep was the pioneer in Bactrian numismatics. The 
work he did in this subject was heroic. 


valuable introductory remarks. For the Indian 
collections, we have numerous articles by General Sir 
A. Cunningham in the Numismatic Chronicle, and the 
valuable Catalogue of Coins in the Calcutta Museum, 
by Mr. Y. A. Smith. Dr. Aurel Stein has written a 
useful pamphlet on Zoroastrian Deities on Indo- 
Scythian Coins, and Professor Eapson has contributed 
a very valuable r6sum6 of his researches on Grseco- 
Bactrian coins to the Grundriss der Indo-arischen 
Philologie, which is practically the last word on the 
subject. Von Sallet's Die Nachfolger Alexanders des 
Grossen in Baktrien (Berlin, 1878) will not, of course, 
be overlooked. 1 

Indo-Greek Art and Greek Influence on India. — The 
vexed question of Greek influence on India has 
received a good deal of attention in recent years. 
The exaggerated views of Weber and Niese have pro- 
voked a not unnatural reaction. Mr. V. A. Smith 
goes even so far as to say that Niese's " astonishing 
paradox " is "not supported by a single fact." 
Among the noteworthy contributions to the subject is 
W. W. Tarn's " Notes on Hellenism in Bactria and 
India " in the Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1902. 2 From 
the purely literary point of view, the fullest and most 
unbiassed discussion will be found in the concluding 
chapter of Professor Macdonell's HLtory of Sanskrit 

1 See also Eapson's Catalogue of the Coins of the Andhras 
and the Corolla Numismatica (Oxford, 1906). 

2 See also the impartial summary in the relevant portions of 
the article on " Hellenism " in the Encyclopcedia Britannica, 
eleventh edition. 


Literature, with a copious bibliography of the subject 
at the end of the book. The Gandhara sculptures 
have been investigated by M. Foucher under the 
auspices of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles 
Lettres ; the results may be seen in his Notes sur la 
Geographic Ancienne du Gandhara, sur la Frontier e 
Indo-Afghane, and his more recent Vart du Gandhara. 
Mr. V. A. Smith's views were stated in his paper on 
" Graeco-Roman Influence on the Civilization of Ancient 
India" (J.A.S.B., 1889, p. 115). 1 From the Indian 
point of view, Mr. Havell, in his Indian Sculpture and 
Painting (1908), repudiates with vigour the suggestion 
that Indian art owes anything to the West. For 
foreign elements in Indian architecture, besides 
Cunningham's remarks in vol. v. of the Archaological 
Survey of India, the reader may refer to an article by 
W. Simpson, in the Journal of the Institution of British 
Architects, vol. i., p. 93. 

1 Mr. V. A. Smith has now set forth his views (greatly 
modified by recent criticism) in his History of Fine Art in 
India and Ceylon (Clarendon Press, 1911), chapter xi. 





11 Bakhdhim criram eredhvo drafsham " (Bactra the beautiful, 
crowned with banners). — Vend., I. 7. 

The name of Bactria, or Bactriana, 1 was given by 
classical writers to the vast tract of country which 
lies between the Hindu-Kush and the Oxus. On its 
southern and eastern flanks the great mountain 
barrier divides it from Thibet and India ; on its 
western side lie the great Carmanian desert, and the 
grassy downs of Aria and Margiana. 2 Beyond the Oxus 

1 The Greek " Bactria" comes from the Persian Bakhtri of 
the cuneiform inscriptions. The earlier form, found in the Zend 
Avesta, is Bakhdhi. In Pehlevi this became Bdlchal, or Bakhli, 
by a common metathesis of u dh " and " 1," whence the modern 
(Mahommedan) BalJch. The Greeks naturally adopted the 
West Persian form, in use (as the Behistun Inscr., col. i. 6, 
shows) among the people they came in contact with. The old 
derivation of Bactria, from A-paMra, " northern " (Bactria 
being the most northerly Arian settlement), is plausible, but 

2 The modern Herat and Merv, both Iranian settlements of 
great antiquity. Margiana (Mar gush, Behist. Inscr., III. 3) 
was counted as part of Bactria by the Persians for adminis- 



to the north stretches the little-known and sparsely 
inhabited region of Sogdiana, as far as the Jaxartes ; 
beyond that, again, lie the limitless steppes of Central 
Asia, inhabited by the vast hordes of nomadic 
Scythians, whose presence on the borders of their 
territories constituted a perpetual menace to the 
Iranian population of the fertile valleys. 

Bactria was noted for its fertility. It is called by 
Strabo "the pride of Ariana," 1 and in later days it 
paid the large sum of 360 talents tribute to the 
Persian revenues. It was well watered. Besides the 
mighty Oxus, the Arius (the modern Hari-rud), and 
several less important streams, irrigate the country. 
It produced all the Greek products except the olive ; 
and silphium, which was useful as an article of 
commerce, as well as for fattening an excellent breed 
of sheep, grew in great quantities on the slopes of 
the Hindu-Kush. 2 Lucerne, the "Medica herba," 
as it was called from the place of its origin, grew 
freely in Bactria, and produced admirable fodder for 
the famous Bactrian horses, helping, perhaps, partially 

trative purposes. Mapyiavrj, like BaKTpiavr), is an adjective, yrj 
being understood. It means the land of the Mapyos, river 
(modern Murgab). 

1 7rp6crxrjfia rrjs 'Apiavfjs, XI. 11, 1. So Vergil : 

" Sed neque Medorum silvae ditissima terra 
Laudibus Italise certet, non Bactra neque Indi." 

Georg., II. 137. 

2 Strabo, ibid. Silphium (assafoetida) was looked upon by 
the ancient Greeks as a condiment. It was also used medicin- 
ally. It is difficult to understand their addiction for what we 
should consider a nauseating substance. It is still so used in 
parts of India, however. See also Arrian, Anab., III. 29. 


to account for the reputation which the Bactrian 
cavalry acquired. 1 The well-known description of 
Bactrian fertility by Quintus Curtius has been praised 
by subsequent travellers. " The soil of Bactria," he 
tells us, " varies considerably in its nature. In some 
spots extensive orchards and vineyards produce 
abundant fruit of a most delicious quality. The soil 
there is rich and well-watered. The warmer parts 
produce crops of corn ; the rest is better for pasture- 
land. The fertile portion is densely populated, and 
rears an incredible number of horses." 2 It is inter- 
esting to compare what is told us by ancient writers 
with the remarks of a recent visitor to these regions. 
It will be seen that the agricultural features of the 
country have altered little ; incidentally, the similarity 
between the two descriptions testifies to the accuracy 
of the classical geographers. 

The Times correspondent with Lumsden's force, 
writing on March 12, 1882, describes the country as 

1 It is curious that so little is said about the (afterwards) 
famous Bactrian camels. They must have been extensively 
used on the trade routes. The Parthians employed them as 
ammunition animals, to carry fresh supplies of arrows for their 
mounted infantry. But they are never mentioned among the 
products of Bactria by classical writers, and only figure once on 
the coins. 

2 " Bactriae terra multiplex et varia natura est. Alibi multa 
arbor, et vitis largos mitesque fructus alit ; solum pingue crebri 
fontes rigant ; quae mitiora sunt frumento conseruntur ; cetera 
armentorum pabulo cedunt," etc. A recent traveller remarks : 
" The language of the most graphic writer could not delineate 
the country with greater exactness " (Sir A. Burnes, Journey 
to Bokhara, i. 245). The various passages are quoted in 
Appendix V., pp. 162-166. 


follows: "The south branch of the Parapamisus is 
represented by gentle undulations of gravelly soil, 
covered with camel thorn and assafoetida, which 
intervene between Herat and the frontier. . . . Groves 
of pistachio and mulberry trees, bushes, wild carrots, 
testify to the richness of the soil, irrigated in many 
places by streams of purest water alive with fish." 
The extraordinary fertility here referred to extends, 
however, only over the central part of the country — 
the alluvial lands watered by the Oxus and Arius. 
All along the western frontier lay great shifting sand- 
dunes, forming an almost impenetrable barrier to 
invaders, as Alexander found. Curtius tells us that 
after a north-west gale it is not uncommon for the 
whole face of the country to be altered, roads being 
blotted out, landmarks obliterated, and fresh sand- 
hills piled up, so that the traveller can only guide 
himself by the stars. As Strabo and Arrian remark, 1 
this has a curious effect on the rivers. Unable to 
maintain their course, they are gradually absorbed 
in the overwhelming mass of shifting sands and 
disappear. The Arius in this way comes to an end 
in the Tejend oasis, being unable to cut a channel 
in the shifting Turcoman deserts; and even the 
lordly Oxus suffers in the same manner. Matthew 
Arnold graphically describes the difficulties which 
beset the stream on its course to the Aral Sea, 2 in 
language which would apply with equal truth to the 
other Bactrian rivers : 

1 Geog., XL 5 ; Anab., IV. 6. Vide the passage (g), on 
p. 165. 

2 Its present course, not the ancient one. 


" Then sands begin 
To hem his watery course, and dam his streams, 
And split his currents, that for many a league 
The shorn and parcelled Oxus strains along 
Through beds of sand and matted rushy isles." 

The same fate probably overtook the Sogd, or 
Polytimetus, 1 in Sogdiana, which, according to 
Curtius, "plunges into the bowels of the earth," and 
is lost to sight. 2 Sogdiana, the little-known land 
north of Bactria, was not so fertile or so thickly 
populated. From the Oxus to the Jaxartes lay 
a succession of rolling steppes, interspersed with 
patches of barren desert. Only round Maracanda 
and on the river-banks was any attempt made at 
cultivation. The inhabitants were scattered and 
few in number; probably dread of the nomads 
from across the river, as well as the nature of 
the country itself, made agriculture hardly worth 

The courses of the rivers, and indeed the general 
climatic conditions of this part of Asia, appear to have 
changed a good deal since the days of the Macedonian 
invasion. The same has happened in the Panjab 
and in Khotan ; the latter country, now a barren 
waste, was once a fertile land with cities and orchards, 

1 Vide note, p. 17. 

2 Quintus Curtius, VII. 10, 1. Curtius says the Polytimetus 
plunges into a narrow gorge and then disappears. He states 
that the roaring of the water may be heard for some distance 
underground, and the course of the streams traced by the sound. 
Modern travellers do not confirm this story. Perhaps he is 
thinking of the Jcanats, or underground watercourses, still a 
feature of the country (E7J-1V0/101). The passage is quoted in the 
Appendix, p. 166. 


as recent explorations have revealed. The bare plains 
of the Mekran cannot have been as utterly destitute 
of water and forage as they are now, or Alexander 
could hardly, even with the losses he sustained, have 
crossed those terrible deserts at all. Perhaps the 
monsoon current, which now deflects abruptly to the 
east off the Bombay coast, once penetrated north- 
wards as far as Karachi. The courses of the "five 
rivers " of the Pan jab have altered considerably since 
the third century b.c. ; the Oxus, again, which in 
Strabo's day emptied itself into the Caspian Sea near 
Krasnovodsk, now flows into the Aral Sea. The 
modern town of Balkh is some miles distant from the 
river (the ancient Bactrus), on the banks of which it 
originally stood. 

One of the most characteristic features of Bactria 
and Sogdiana was the succession of great natural 
forts scattered over the face of the country, reminding 
the traveller of similar strongholds, so common in the 
Bombay Deccan, which played such a prominent 
part in Maratha history. Like the Marathas, the 
Iranians of Bactria had recognized their strategic 
value, and in many cases had made them almost 
impregnable. The successive reduction of these forts 
taxed all the resources of Alexander himself. Strabo 
gives us a minute account of these great strongholds. 1 
The chief of them was the citadel of Sisimithres, 
surrendered by Oxyartes to Alexander. It is stated to 
have been fifteen stadia high, and eighty stadia in 
circumference at the base. The summit formed a 

1 XI., 88, 4, etc. See the passage quoted in Appendix V., 
pp. 164-165 (/). 


broad plateau, capable, when properly provisioned and 
supplied with water, of supporting a garrison of 500 
men for an indefinite period ; it even had cultivated 
fields at the top, and was more like a town than a 
fortress. Maracanda, the capital of the province of 
Sogdiana, was more than double this in height ; and 
we hear of another strong fortress which was held 
against the Macedonians by the Iranian prince 
Arimazes. So confident were the defenders of their 
security that they rejected Alexander's overtures with 
scorn, declaring that troops must be able to fly in 
order to scale their walls. Arimazes found out his 
mistake to his cost. Bactra, the capital of Bactria, 1 
was also a city of great strength, though this was due 
to artificial rather than natural causes. 2 It resisted 
the forces of Antiochus the Great, and compelled him 
to raise the siege and acknowledge the independence 
of the country. It is probably to this great achieve- 
ment that Polybius refers, 3 when he speaks of the 
" siege of Bactra," as one of the most renowned 
blockades in military history, and a synonym for 
stubborn resistance. 

Bactra was celebrated in Iranian history for many 
associations. Hither, according to an ancient tradition, 

1 Other cities of which we hear are Cariatse and Adraspa, or 

2 Diod., II. 6 : f) yap BaKTpiavrj X^P a wo^ais KC " \xtyakais 
oIkov^vt] 7ro\€(ri piav fX€v elx €V €7TL(f>av€(TTdTr)v, iv fj (TVVej3af,V€V 
dvac to. fiao-ikeia. avrrj ff iKaXelro \ikv Ba/crpa, peyeSa, de kcu rfj 
Kara, rrjv aKpoTrokiv o^yporrfTi 7ro\v ttcktcdv 8U(f)€p€. 

3 Polybius, xxix. 12, 8. We cannot be certain of this, though 
von Gntschmidt takes it for granted. Polybius might possibly 
be thinking of the mythical siege by Semiramis. 


came the prophet Zarathustra to expound the 
doctrines afterwards associated with his name. Here, 
too, stood one of the many rich temples of the 
goddess Anahid, or Anaitis — the Tanata of the 
Persians, and Ananita of the Avesta hymns. The 
shrines of this goddess were always a source of great 
wealth to the city in which they stood. At Ecbatana 
her temple had silver tiles and gilt 1 pillars ; equally 
wealthy was another at Elymais. On more than one 
occasion needy Syrian monarchs were constrained to 
plunder these opulent fanes to replenish their coffers. 2 
The wealth and popularity of the temples of the 
goddess were partly due to the licentious nature of 
her rites. At Acilisene, in Armenia (in which country 
she was especially popular), girls prostituted them- 
selves in her honour, and incidentally, no doubt, to 
the great enhancement of the temple revenues. 3 

Another festival of Anaitis, called the Sacsea, was 
also accompanied by wild and licentious revels, the 
celebrants, men and women, indulging in excesses 
which remind the student of similar orgies which 
accompanied the Hindu festival of the Sakti Puja, 
described by the Abb6 Du Bois. 4 This took place at 
Zela, and the participants dressed in Scythian costume. 
The festival is said to have commemorated the victory 
of Cyrus over the Scythians ; 5 this explanation, though 

1 K€X€vo-cofi€va (Polybius, X. 27, 12). 

2 Antiochus Epiphanes and Mithridates I. both did so (vide 
Maccabees, I. vi. 13, and II. i. 13). 

3 Strabo, XL 14, 16. 

4 Moeurs, Institutions et Ceremonies des Peuples d'Inde 
(trans. Beauchamp, Clarendon Press), ii. 9. 

5 Strabo, XI., viii., §§ 4-6. 


not itself correct, doubtless contains the germs of the 
truth. Anaitis was a Scythian goddess, and her cult 
was probably brought into Media by Cyrus on his 
return from the East. She was then identified, as 
Herodotus tells us, with the Assyrian Mylitta (the 
Arabian Alytta), the Venus Urania of Greece. 1 

One of her most celebrated shrines stood in Bactra, 
and probably antedated by many centuries the Iranian 
occupation of the city. Artaxerxes Mnemon, the victor 
at Cunaxa, was a special devotee of this goddess, who 
appears by this time to have become associated in some 
way with the Persian Mithra, perhaps as his feminine 
counterpart. 2 It was a sign of the degradation of the 
Persian creed, noted already by Herodotus, that its 
followers began to hanker after the anthropomorphic 
religion of their neighbours, forsaking the pure Uni- 
tarianism which so commended them to the Jews. 3 
Artaxerxes was an especial offender, and one of his acts 
was to adorn the shrine at Bactra with a magnificent 
statue. This famous image is celebrated in the Avesta 
hymns, 4 where the Bactrian Anahid is described as the 
" High girdled one, clad in a mantle of gold, having on 
thy head a golden crown, with eight rays and a hundred 

1 Herod., I. 131. The identification is attributed to Arta- 
xerxes Longimanus (not Mnemon, as Clement of Alexandria 
states, led away probably by the further honours paid to the 
goddess by the latter). 

2 Or saJcti, to adopt the Indian term. The Bactrian Anahid 
was also, by the Iranians, looked upon as a yazata, or spirit, of 
the Ardvisura (Oxus), on whose banks the temple stood. 

3 Herod., loc. cit. : " The Persians do not think the gods 
have human forms. They sacrifice to sun, moon, fire, air, and 
the winds. . . . They have since learnt to sacrifice to . . . 
Mylitta, whom the Persians call Mithra" (i.e., Anahid). 

4 S.B.E., vol. ii., p. 82. 


stars, and clad in a robe of thirty otter-skins of the sort 
with shining fur." Th&opulence of the Bactrian god- 
dess is in keeping with the wealth and splendour of her 
other shrines. She figures, in her eight-rayed crown, 
on a fine coin of the Graeco-Bactrian Demetrius ; * and 
Clement of Alexandria refers to a statue of Aphrodite 
Tanais, (meaning, no doubt Tanata, the Persian name 
for Anaitis,) existing in his days at Bactra. Such, then, 
was Bactra, the capital of Eastern Iran. Her ancient 
shrine, a place of pilgrimage to Scythian and Persian 
alike, was very probably a source of great wealth and 
renown ; her associations with Zoroaster, 2 and her great 
natural strength as a fortress, added to her celebrity; 
and besides, situated as she was in the heart of Iran, 
and on the high road to Europe and Eastern Asia on 
the one hand, and China and India on the other, her 
commercial and strategic importance would be hard 
to overestimate. Unfortunately, this part of Asia is 
practically unexplored as far as archaeological research 
is concerned ; modern travellers have failed to detect 
any remains of its ancient glory in the modern Mahom- 
medan town, though vague reports of the discovery of 
inscribed bricks which occasionally appear may point 
to the existence of cuneiform inscriptions. In any case, 
in a town like Bactra, continually inhabited and rebuilt 
by successive conquerors, any remains of the ancient 
shrine of Anahid, or of the Greek occupation, must, if 

1 Gardner, Catalogue of the Greek and Scythic Kings o/Bactria 
and India, iii. 1. Perhaps also on a coin of Euthydemus in 
H. H. Wilson's Ariana Antigua, ii. 1 (Wilson says it is Apollo). 

2 We hear of a great fire temple — the Nas-bohar, or Temple 
of the Spring — in Firdousi. But this seems to have dated from 
Sassanian times only. 


they exist, lie buried under many yards of debris. The 
Iranians .spoke with affectionate pride of "Bactra the 
beautiful," but it did not favourably impress the Mace- 
donians when they occupied it. The clean and spacious 
suburbs won their admiration, but they were disgusted 
at the (to them) barbarous practice of exposing corpses 
to be devoured by birds, which is enjoined by Zoroas- 
trianism. The swarms of half-savage pariah dogs 
which haunt the streets of Oriental cities were especially 
common in Bactra, the centre of the most conservative 
type of the ancient Iranian creed, as Zoroastrianism 
regards the dog as a sacred animal, to injure which is 
an offence computed in the Vendidad as more heinous 
than manslaughter. The dog was originally protected 
by the precepts of Zarathustra, no doubt because of its 
useful scavenging habits, which made it in primitive 
times a valuable means of promoting sanitation. The 
custom of attaching a sacred character to useful animals 
in order to protect them may be illustrated from the 
case of the Hindus, who similarly revere the cow. 
Strabo, however, declares the Bactrians practised the 
savage habit, common among the Scythian tribes, of 
handing the old and infirm over to the dogs to devour. 
He asserts that these dogs were called " Entombers," 1 
and that the streets of the city were " full of bones " 
in consequence. This was certainly not originally an 
Iranian custom, though it must be mentioned that a 
persistent opinion prevailed among the Greeks that 
some Iranian tribes gave their dead to the dogs. In 
the Clementine Recognitions we find it recorded that 

1 ivTafyiao-Tai. The passage is given in full in Appendix V. 
e), p. 164, q.v. 


one of the effects of the preaching of St. Thomas was 
that "very few of the Medes now give their dead to 
the dogs." 1 An ancient custom, still practised by the 
Parsis, was to show the corpse to a dog (to drive off 
the fiends), before giving it over to the vultures at the 
dakhma, or Tower of Silence. Strabo may be referring 
to some garbled account of this custom (which was 
put down by Alexander as a detestable habit), or he 
may be referring to an actual practice among the 
Scythian populace of Bactra; such customs were 
common north of the Oxus, as the Scythians had 
a prejudice against letting their older people die 
naturally. The Caspii starved them to death ; 2 the 
Massagetse are said to have devoured them! 3 A 
similar custom is recorded of the island of Ceos. 4 

There seems to be very little doubt that the 
population of Bactria was largely Scythian. The 
" Turanian " 5 tribes who dwelt all along the north 
of the Iranian settlements of "Western and Central 
Asia, known indifferently to classical writers as Sacae, 
or Scythians, had occupied the fertile plains of the 
Oxus long before the advent of the Aryans. " The 
Bactrian Empire was founded by the Scythians,'' 
says Justin; 6 and Strabo tells us that this event 
occurred at the same time that these nomads occupied 
the fertile valleys, afterwards known as Sacasten6. 7 

1 Second or third century a.d. IX. 29 : " Nee multi apud 
Medos canibus objiciunt mortuos." 
1 Strabo, Geog., XL 11, 8. 3 Ibid., XL 8, 6. 

4 Ibid., X. 5, 6. 5 I.e., non-Iranian. 

6 Justin, II. 1. 

7 Geog., XI. 8, 4. Sacastene = Saka-stan, the land where 
the Sakas settled (cf. Afghanistan, Hindustan, etc.). The word 
first occurs, I believe, in Isidore of Seville. 


We may, in a word, conjecture that Bactria under- 
went the same change that we can so clearly trace 
in Armenia. Armenia, when it becomes first known 
to history, is clearly Turanian. Its inscriptions, 
language, religion, all point to this. Then, about the 
seventh century b.c, a change comes over the face of 
the country. Herodotus writes of Armenia in his 
day as populated by an Aryan race, akin to the 
Phrygians. In Bactria, as in Armenia, " everything 
seems to indicate that a strange people had im- 
migrated into the land, bringing with them a new 
language, new manners and customs, and a new 
religious system.'' 1 We see, however, numerous 
traces in Bactria of the old order of things. We 
have already referred to the worship of Anahid, with 
her Sacsean ritual, celebrated by priests in Scythian 
vestments; the very fact that her statue in Bactra 
was " clothed in otter-skins " seems to show that she 
came from the frozen steppes beyond the Jaxartes. 2 
Other barbarous customs, referred to on a previous 
page, appear to be undoubtedly of Scythian origin. 
Strabo says the custom of doing away with the dead 
and infirm obtaining in Bactria is practically identical 
with that of the Scythians. 3 

The Iranians who conquered Bactria did not, of 
course, oust or exterminate the primitive inhabitants. 
Their numbers were too few, and the country too 
vast. Apparently, they merely seized and fortified 

1 Kawlinson, Sixth Oriental Monarchy, ch. ix. 

2 It is significant that she is a favourite goddess of the Kushan 
kings, who were Scythians. The name nano appears on the 
coins of Huvishka and others. 

3 Geog.,XI. 1,3. 


the great natural strongholds with which the country 
abounded, and dwelt there in peace and safety. They 
appear to have agreed excellently with the aboriginal 
inhabitants. Their rule was probably easy, and im- 
posed nothing more than a light tribute in kind upon 
the rude cultivators. The most probable supposition 
is that the pure Iranian nobles formed a kind of 
"equestrian order," 1 — mounted knights who could 
quell without difficulty the ill-armed and ill-disciplined 
pedestrian population of the country. We find con- 
firmation for this theory in what is told us about 
the rude Bactrian infantry, armed with "Medic 
turbans, bows of Bactrian cane, and short spears," 
who accompanied Xerxes. 2 These are obviously not 
the picked regiments left behind with Mardonius on 
account of their efficiency. Quintus Curtius, too, 
refers to a " body of 7,000 Bactrian equites whom 
the rest obeyed"; 3 these are, no doubt, the Iranian 
ruling caste. Constant references to " Bactrians 
and Sacae" in one breath, as it were, in Herodotus 4 
point strongly to the coexistence of an aboriginal 
and Iranian population in Bactria. We hear of them 
as an obstinate and valiant race, 5 who were unaffected 

1 In nearly every case we find the conquering Aryan-speaking 
people forming a military aristocracy, who owe their supremacy 
over a more numerous aboriginal race to their superior weapons 
and organization. This is equally true of early Greece, Rome, 
and Gaul. 

2 Herod., VII. 64. Vide supra, p. 31. 

3 Quintus Curtius, VII. 6 : " Erant autem vii millia equitum, 
quorum auctoritatem ceteri sequebantur " ; " xxx millia," VII. 4. 

4 E.g., VII. 54 and IX. 113. 

5 Quintus Curtius, IV. 6, 3. So, too, the author of the 
Periplus talks of the (later) Bactrians as a /xa^t/xcoraroj/ Wvos. 


by the luxury which enervated the Persian Empire 
in its latter days. Eough and outspoken, they had 
all the virtues of the ancient Persians. Like all 
borderers, they were continually at war, and this kept 
their martial spirit alive. Their life was one long 
struggle to keep the Scythians from over the Oxus 
from harrying their fields ; they were independent 
and apt to resent an insult, but intensely proud of 
the privilege of having a royal prince as their ruler. 
For him they would fight to the last, even against 
the Great King ; but on the whole they were the most 
loyal and devoted of the subjects of the Persian 
throne. At Gaugamela and after they resisted 
Alexander to the last gasp, resenting bitterly the 
intrusion of a foreigner who despised and suppressed 
their most cherished customs. The satrapy of Bactria 
was, strategically, the most important post in the 
Empire ; upon its holder devolved the duty, not 
only of guarding against invasion from India on the 
north, but of putting down revolts against the king 
in Margiana, Aria, or other provinces, and upholding 
his authority in these distant realms. Bactria, the 
home of Zarathustra, was conservative in its religious 
customs, and was very probably the scene of the 
authorship of many of the oldest hymns of the 
Zend Avesta. The Bactrians were famous for their 
pithy proverbial sayings, of which two at least have 
passed into current use. Cobares, the Iranian chief, 

Curtius says : " Sunt autem Bactriani inter illas gentes promp- 
tissimi, horridis ingeniis, mnltumque a Persarum luxu abhor- 
rentibus : siti hand procnl Scytharum gente bellicosissima et 
rapto vivere assneti, semperqne in armis erant." 


when speaking of Alexander to Bessus, remarked : 
" His bark is worse than his bite : for still waters 
run deep." 1 


Principally Strabo and Quintus Ourtius. For the subject 
of Anaitis and the Sacaea, see the interesting theories of 
J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, ii. 24, 253, and iii. 151, etc. 
(second edition). Dr. Frazer shows that the ceremonies of the 
Sacaea bear an organic resemblance to those of Merodach at 
Babylon and the Eoman Saturnalia. The two latter were New 
Year festivals, and at all three the " mocking" was the central 
figure. The Jewish festival of Purim was of a similar nature 
(Dr. Frazer sees an allusion to it in the story of Haman and 
Mordecai). See also Ed. Meyer's article " Anaitis " in Koscher's 
Lexicon, and Windischmann's Study of Anaitis and Mithra. 

Practically nothing has been done towards the elucidation of 
the many problems connected with the ethnology and geography 
of Bactria. A mysterious city called Zariaspa is often men- 
tioned. Strabo constantly identifies it with Bactra. Pliny 
agrees, and states that Bactra is a later name for Zariaspa, 
taken from the Kiver Bactrus, on which the town stands. 2 
This is certainly wrong, Bactra being the Greek corruption of 
Bakhdhi, the earliest (and only) name for the city in Iranian 

Professor Bury thinks Bactra and Zariaspa were double 
capitals, like Sogdiana and Maracanda. He follows F. von 
Schwarz in identifying Zariaspa with Chargui on the Oxus, a 
good deal to the north-west. The termination aspa (Skt. asva) 
is common in Persian names, both of places and persons — e.g., 

1 "Adjicit deinde quod apud Bactrianos vulgo usurpabant : 
canem timidum vehementius latrare quam morderey altissima 
quoque flumina minimo sono labi" (Quintus Curtius, VII. 4). 
The proverbial sayings of the Bactrians were well known. 
4 'Truthful words are always better" ("Honesty is the best 
policy") is the dictum of a " wise man of Balkh " (Shahnama, 
Trans. Mohl., vii. 44). 

2 Hist. Nat., VI. 18. 


Hystaspes, Adraspa, etc. Perhaps Zariaspa is the " City of the 
Golden Horse" [zara = go\dL ; cf. Zarafshan, "bringing down 
gold," the^ name of a river in Sogdiana, which, says Strabo, the 
Greeks paraphrased (Trapcovofxao-av) by the word IIoAim/AijTos]. 

See Adolf Holm, Greek History, i. 25, n. 1 (Eng. trans.) ; 
F. von Schwarz, Alexander des grossen Feldzilge in Tur- 



In some remote period, probably about two thousand 
years before Christ, the collection of tribes which 
formed the nucleus of the Iranian and Indo-Aryan 
races 1 swept, by a series of wave-like invasions, 
into Western Asia. We have no data by which to 
determine their route ; they may have come across 
the Jaxartes from the north-east ; they may, possibly, 
have even found their way across the Caucasus. It is 
more probable, however, that they dwelt, before their 
inruption into their final abode, somewhere between the 
Aral and Caspian Seas, in the country occupied later 
by the Dahse. The invaders may be conveniently 
divided into two groups — the Aryans and Iranians. 
The Aryans were evidently the first to enter Iran, 
whence they were driven southwards by the presence 
of further invaders in their rear, who gradually forced 
them across the Paropamisus into the Panjab, just as, 

1 I use the word " Iranian " to indicate the Persians, Medes, 
Bactrians, and other tribes of Iran. By " Aryan" I signify 
the kindred races of Northern India, the Vedic Hindus. But 
the words "Iranian " and "Aryan" are philologically identical, 
of course (Avesta, Airiya ; Skt., Ary a). 



many centuries later, the Scythians forced south- 
wards the Bactrian Greeks. The invading hordes 
who followed, the nucleus of the Iranian race, appear 
to have split into two bodies. 1 One body proceeded in 
a westerly direction, and found a lodgment on the 
eastern borders of the great Semitic nations of the 
Tigris and Euphrates Valley. Of these, one powerful 
tribe, the Persians, spread over the mountainous dis- 
trict at the head of the Persian Gulf ; another, the 
Median tribe, subdivided into several smaller clans, 
occupied the dales and valleys of the country from the 
shores of the Caspian to the land of Persis. Into the 
rich valleys beyond they dared not penetrate ; on the 
other hand, the Assyrian troopers would hardly venture 
to attack the hardy mountaineers in their fastnesses, 
from which they only descended in search of plunder. 
Later, the Medes overran Armenia. Some time before 
the seventh century we find the original Turanian 
population replaced by an Iranian one. 

The other body of Iranian tribes proceeded in an 
easterly direction. Forcing their predecessors and 
kinsmen, the Aryans, to seek new homes over the 
mountains, they proceeded to settle wherever the pre- 
sence of ample streams provided a prospect of good 

1 This theory may be summarized as follows : The invading 
Iranians split into two streams, which flowed east and west of 
the Carmanian desert. The Eastern Iranians settled in Sog- 
diana, Bactria, Carmania, Margiana, and Aria. They drove 
their predecessors, the Aryans, into India. The Western 
Iranians went to the west of the desert. The foremost tribe 
was the Persian; it was followed by the Medes, from whom 
the Indo- Germanic settlers in Phrygia and Armenia may have 
been offshoots. 


pasture and tillage. The most powerful of these tribes 
took up their abode on the banks of the Oxus. They 
subdued the wandering nomads, and seized the ancient 
shrine of Bactra, which became their capital ; some of 
their kinsmen even migrated into the vast and lonely 
country beyond the Oxus, and reached the banks of the 
Jaxartes. Being few in number, and, unlike their kins- 
men of the west, dwelling in a level country with no 
mountains to protect them, the Bactrians seized the 
curious rocky eminences which rose abruptly here and 
there out of the flat alluvial plains. Here the Iranian 
lords built their castles, and dwelt in proud isolation. 
With their swift cavalry, they could swoop down upon 
an invader and retire as quickly to their strongholds, 
many of which were actually small towns, and quite 

Between the Aryan tribes w 7 hich crossed the moun- 
tains and found a home in the Indus Valley and their 
Iranian kinsmen on the banks of the Oxus there was 
at first no great difference of language, customs, or 
religion. Both alike worshipped the powers of Nature, 
which to them were the visible signs of " something 
far more deeply interfused," — Varuna, Ovpavos, the 
shining vault of Heaven ; x Mitra, the " friendly " light 
of the sun ; Vayu, the wind that drives away the storms, 
and makes bright the face of Heaven ; Yama, the prim- 
eval man, reigning over the blessed souls in Paradise. 
Both alike celebrated the mysterious sacrament of the 
Soma, when the sacred juice was solemnly consumed, 
to the spiritual uplifting of gods and men. 

1 " The Persians called the whole vault of the sky Zeus — i.e., 
the Supreme God " (Herodotus, I. 131). 


The two races, however, drifted farther and farther 
apart. The Aryans of the Pan jab spread eastwards 
towards the banks of the Ganges, and lost touch with 
their northern kinsfolk. The rift is exemplified by 
the gradual changes which creep into the meaning 
of what were once common words to both tongues : 
asura, originally used to signify a " spirit," takes, 
among the Vedic Indians, the connotation of " demon," 
while the Iranians exalt it by applying it to the 
Supreme Intelligence, Ahura Mazda, the " Omniscient 
Lord." On the other hand, the word deva, originally 
used of the bright spirits of air and sky, and retaining 
that meaning in Sanskrit, is used in the Avesta tongue 
in the sense of " demons." It has been thought by 
some authorities that this strange opposition of 
meanings points to a time of strife between the 
Iranian and Vedic peoples, when the gods of the one 
became, like their protiges, the national foes of their 
opponents, and it is possible that this strife may have 
led to the great migration of the defeated tribes to the 
Pan jab. Such a theory has nothing to support it 
but its inherent plausibility ; it is not in itself essential 
to explain the strange divergence in meaning of cer- 
tain words of the common Aryan vocabulary, as 
such differences are often merely the work of lengthy 

Of the early history of Bactria we know little or 
nothing ; the lists of kings and accounts of their 
exploits given by the Sassanian and later writers are 
almost entirely a mass of untrustworthy legends. All 
we can glean for certain is that as early as the second 
millennium b.c., a powerful confederacy, of which 


Bactria was the centre, existed in East Iran; the 
inhabitants, not crushed by the proximity of powerful 
neighbours, like their Persian and Median kinsmen, 
were yet prevented from sinking into a state of 
slothful ease by constant wars to repel the incursions 
of the Turanian nomads. They dwelt, a proud and 
powerful aristocracy, mostly in their acropolis-like 
strongholds, to which they retired when hard pressed, 
and from which their chivalry descended to chastise 
the marauders. We may imagine that they ruled in 
a similar style to the Norman barons in England, 
keeping in subjection a numerous helot popula- 
tion by virtue of their superior organization and 
intelligence; such, indeed, was the state of most 
countries in the early days of their invasion by 
the Aryan-speaking peoples. The capital of this 
great Iranian Empire was the ancient shrine 
of Bactra, probably chosen because the invaders 
already found it a place of great and immemorial 

The only episode in the early history of Bactria 
which appears to be founded upon fact is the story 
of the coming of the Iranian prophet, Zarathustra 
Spitama. Round his name, as round that of many 
of the great law-givers of the ancient world, such a 
plentiful crop of legends has sprung up, that many 
have doubted his existence altogether. There is, 
however, no reason to suppose that he was any less 
an actual personage than Lycurgus or Moses, 
although it is impossible at this distance to distin- 
guish precisely what the Iranian religion actually 
owes to his teaching. His birthplace was some- 


where in Media, 1 and he belonged to a tribe, the 
Magu, wjio had inherited or acquired, we know not 
how, a monopoly in religious functions. By this time 
the Iranian religion, like the Iranian language, had 
begun to diverge widely from its original Aryan pro- 
totype. As we have seen, the early Aryans wor- 
shipped the elements — the sacred fire (the Hindu 
Agni), the wide heavens, the soma plant, the air, 
and the water. The Iranians developed certain 
aspects of this religious system, especially the wor- 
ship of the sacred fire, and out of reverence for it 
abandoned the old practice of burning the dead, sub- 
stituting the custom of exposing them instead to the 

This feeling of the necessity of keeping the sacred 
elements free from defilement further led to the 
elaboration of a great number of ritual observances 
of the most minute and, to modern eyes, often 
puerile character. Lists of clean and unclean animals 
and insects (the former, strangely enough, including 
the dog, almost universally looked upon as unclean), 
to be protected or destroyed, were formulated, and 
drastic penalties, consisting of fines and corporal 
punishment, were enacted to enforce the keeping of 
these rules. Lastly, the great central idea of the 
Iranian faith, the existence of a dualism in Nature, 
appeared ; the Iranian explained Evil as the work 
of Ahriman, Angra Mainyu, the Prince of Darkness, 
and the Lord of the Hosts of Devas. 2 ; 

1 Probably at Raghse, or Eai (Payat), in Media Atropatene. 

2 This may have been acquired from contact with the Semitic 


That this creed was developed by the priestly caste 
of the Medes appears to be extremely probable ; the 
minute code of the Vendidad was certainly not meant 
for the populace at large, where at best it would be 
" more honoured in the breach than the observance " ; 
and, as we know, its most important precept was 
violated by the Persian kings themselves, who were 
buried in the royal sepulchre at Pasargadae, and not 
exposed at all. 1 Other indications, such as the silence 
of classical writers on the subject of Ahriman, seem 
to point to the existence of a distinct Magian creed, 
only partially accepted by the Iranians generally. 

Such was the "reformed religion" which Zara- 
thustra, apparently, propagated. Tradition says it 
was in the reign of one Gustaspa 2 that he appeared 
at "Bactra the beautiful, city of the high-streaming 
banners," the ancient seat of the monarchs of 
Eastern Iran. Apparently he was not alone, for 
his wife's relations are said to have attained high 
positions in the royal court. This may have led 
to the widespread adoption of his tenets; and so 
powerful did the family of Spitama become at Bactra, 
that henceforth that city became the centre of Zoroas- 
trianism, the heart of the new creed, and a legend 
grew up in Greece that " Zoroaster was a Bactrian 

1 The body was, however, coated with wax to prevent actual 
contact with the soil (Herodotus, I. 140). 

2 Conjectures as to the date of Zoroaster vary to an astound- 
ing degree. Some identify Gustaspa with the father of Darius ; 
others put him back to 1400 b.c. or earlier, or declare him to be 
a myth. Professor Jackson, of Columbia University, thinks he 
flourished during the Medic supremacy, and to have died about 
583 B.c, 


king." 1 Finally, according to Firdousi, he perished 
in one , of the many Scythian invasions. The 
barbarians are said to have penetrated into Balkh 
itself, and to have killed the prophet before his 

We' must now turn our attention to the Western 
Iranians. About 700 b.c. the Medes at last found an 
opportunity to break away from the Assyrian yoke. 
Phraortes, some fifty years later, united the Persian 
and Median kingdoms, and the doom of Nineveh was 
sealed. From the wreck of the Empire of Assyria 
arose two new nations, Babylon and Media. At first 
the two races, absorbed in their respective conquests, 
remained at peace with one another ; Nebuchadnezzar 
was busy with his Jewish and Egyptian expeditions, 
while the Medes were pushing forward to the Halys. 
For a time Lydia staved off the inevitable doom, and 
a treaty was made between the rival nations, and 
ratified by a marriage between the Medic king and a 
Lydian princess. Hopes of peace from this alliance, 
however, were cast to the winds when, in 550 b.c, 
an event of the utmost import in the history of 
Iran took place. The ancient Medic line was deposed 
by the Persians, and Cyrus the Great, the first of the 

1 I have said nothing of the legendary wars of Ninus and 
Semiramis against Bactria. The Assyrians never invaded 
Bactria, much less conquered a Bactrian king called variously 
Zoroaster (Justin) and Oxyartes (Diodorus). The story found 
in Justin and many writers originated in a Persian legend 
retailed by Ctesias. Eugene Wilhelm, in a learned pamphlet 
(Louvain, 1891), shows that Zoroaster and Oxyartes are cor- 
ruptions of some name like ZaOpavo-Trjs, itself a Grecism of an 
Iranian word, 


Achaemenids, became king of the now extensive 
Perso-Median Empire. The fall of Sardis, under the 
attacks of the new monarch, speedily followed, and 
with Sardis, the overthrow of the Greek colonies on 
the Asiatic coastline. Finally, in 538, the once 
despised Iranians stormed the mighty city of Babylon, 
and proclaimed themselves the masters of Western 

It was not likely that under these circumstances 
the East Iranians would long maintain their position 
of proud isolation from the doings of their western 
kinsmen. Soon after the fall of Babylon Cyrus 
undertook a great expedition to the East. Bactria, 
together with the minor East Iranian tribes, willingly 
submitted to the conqueror of Media, and the Iranians 
were now for the first time incorporated into a single 
vast empire. Cyrus was not slow in perceiving that 
one of the chief menaces to his great kingdom lay in 
the Scythians on the north-east border. In order to 
settle the country as far as possible, he plunged into 
Sogdiana, and attempted to drive the nomads back 
across the Jaxartes. 1 He was temporarily successful 
in this attempt, and before retiring established a 
great frontier fortress, called Cyropolis by the Greeks, 
to keep guard over the border. Seeing the im- 
possibility of governing Bactria from the distant 
capital of Susa, Cyrus started the practice, after- 
wards adopted by his successors, of placing Bactria 
under a prince of the blood, who acted as the king's 
viceroy. The first of these royal satraps was his son 

1 Ctesias, of course, embroiders the story of the campaign 
with various romantic (and utterly fabulous) stories. 


Smerdis. 1 This measure effectually conciliated the 
pride of , the haughty and turbulent Bactrians, as it 
gave their country a sort of pre-eminence over its 
neighbours; the satraps of Bactria appear to have 
always enjoyed the devoted adherence of their subjects. 
Thus Bactria became, like the Deccan under the 
Moghuls, an excellent school for young princes. The 
office was no sinecure, owing to the continual threats 
of invasion from over the border. 

It is related by Arrian, 2 that from Bactria Cyrus 
went southwards across the Paropamisus and reduced 
Kapisa (North-East Afghanistan). From here he 
marched into the Pan jab and tried, with terrible 
results, to perform the feat, afterwards accomplished 
by Alexander with equally disastrous consequences, 
of marching home by the southern route across the 
tropical deserts of Gedrosia (the modern Mekran). 
Strabo disbelieves this story, and it seems probable 
that Arrian is confusing his exploits with those of 
Darius. Cyrus was killed in a second expedition 
across the Jaxartes against the Massa Getae, who 
appear to have given trouble on the Bactrian border. 

He was succeeded by Cambyses, who appears to 
have devoted all his time to Egypt, and to have left 
the eastern portion of the Empire to itself. The 
reign of Cambyses was chiefly remarkable for 
the extraordinary growth of the influence of the 
Magi, who, like the Brahman s of India, aspired to 
become the " power behind the throne" in Persia. 
Smerdis, satrap of Bactria, the king's younger 

1 Ctesias calls him Tanoxyarces. 

2 Exped. Alex., vi. 24. 


brother, had been secretly made away with, probably 
because, like other governors of that distant pro- 
vince, he had shown signs of desiring to set himself 
up as an independent ruler. This treacherous 
act brought its own reward. No one knew for 
certain that Smerdis was dead, and thus the Magi, 
profiting by the prolonged absence of Cambyses, 
were able to set up one of their own number as 
king, pretending that he was the dead prince. 
The conspiracy assumed such gigantic proportions 
that Cambyses, in a fit of despair, killed himself; 
and for over a year the false Smerdis (or rather, 
the crafty priests who used him as their puppet), 
reigned supreme. Finally a conspiracy, headed 
by Darius, son of Prince Hystaspes (Vistaspa) 
governor of Hyrcania and Parthia, was formed, 
which overthrew the usurper and his party. To 
crush a rebellion in a huge, nebulous, and little- 
organized empire of the extent of Persia, was no easy 
matter; pretenders sprang up from Babylon to 
Armenia, and it was only after two years' fighting 
that peace was restored, and the Magi made to pay 
with their blood for their bold attempt. It was 
probably to prevent a recurrence of similar disturb- 
ances that Darius set about the gigantic scheme of 
reform by which he linked his vast possessions into a 
co-ordinated whole, paying fixed assessments to the 
Boyal Treasury, and connected with the capital by 
that wonderful network of roads, with their service of 
posts, so efficiently maintained that the news of a 
rising could be instantly conveyed and troops rapidly 
moved to the disturbed area. Darius finally divided the 


empire into satrapies, each paying a fixed sum to the 
Imperial Treasury ; this wise precaution prevented local 
governors from levying taxes at will, under the pretext 
that they were required by the Imperial Government. 

Under the new scheme, Bactria became the twelfth 
satrapy in the empire, and paid an annual tribute of 
360 talents (about £90,000). This seems a small 
contribution, compared to the sum of 1,000 talents 
contributed by the most wealthy province, Assyria ; 
but it may be that Bactria received concessions of 
some kind in return for its loyalty to Darius. 

Darius, as we have already mentioned, was the son 
of the governor of a great province of Eastern Iran, 
and he appears to have won the esteem of the Bac- 
trians, which may account for the remarkable fact that 
these ardent champions of the Zoroastrian creed did 
not join the side of the Magi in any of the various 
risings. This may be also partly due to the fact that 
the satrapy of Bactria was in the hands of a certain 
Dardases, who appears to have remained loyal to his 
master's cause in spite of grave temptations. One of 
the most formidable of the rebellions confronting 
Darius was that of Phraortes of Margiana, who pro- 
claimed himself to be a descendant of the ancient 
Median kings. Even Hystaspes was unable to quell 
the rising, which was finally subdued by the king in 
person, in co-operation with the Bactrians. The 
Behistun inscription records how Darius sent word to 
" Dardases his servant " to " smite the people that 
owned him not." Dardases was probably a prince of the 
blood, like the other Bactrian satraps, but except from 
this solitary reference, we hear nothing further of him. 


About 512 b.c. an important expedition left Bactria 
for the Indus Valley. 1 Scylax of Caryanda in Caria 
undertook the exploration of the course of the Indus 
from the land of the Pakhtu 2 to the sea, and returned, 
after a most adventurous voyage of over a year, via the 
Bed Sea, landing near the modern port of Suez. A 
province south of the Paropamisus was established, 
probably as a subsatrapy of Bactria, and a regular 
trade was opened from the mouth of the Indus up the 
Persian Gulf. One of the many important results of 
this undertaking was to open up a connection between 
the Persians and their long-forgotten kinsmen of the 
Panjab. Probably, historians have never appreciated 
the significance of this contact. One tangible result, 
at any rate, was the introduction into the north-west 
of India of the Kharoshthi script, which is evidently 
of Aramaic origin. It continued in use for over 800 
years on the border, till ousted, about a.d. 343, by 
the Brahmi (or Brahmin) writing, the parent of the 
modern Indian alphabets. 

In the reign of Xerxes, who succeeded to the throne 
in 485 b.c, two of his brothers, Masistes and Hystaspes, 
appear to have dwelt at Bactra. Masistes, apparently 
the elder, was satrap of the province, while upon 
Hystaspes devolved the command of the troops, and in 
this capacity he took charge of the Bactro-Sacean con- 

1 Herodotus, IV. 44. The so-called Periplus of Scylax is a 
later work. 

2 The Afghans (Pushtu). The expedition started from 
" Kaspatyrus and the country of Paktyike," probably at the 
junction of the Kabul Eiver with the Indus. Kaspatyrus is the 
il Kaspapyrus " of Hekataeus, " a city of Gandhara." Perhaps 
the Indian name was Kaspapur. 


tingent during the Grecian expedition of 480 b.c. 
Apparently, the Bactrian brigade comprised two dis- 
tinct bodies of troops ; the infantry consisted largely 
of semi-savage aboriginals, " armed with short spears 
and bows of Bactrian cane," — singularly ineffective 
weapons, one would think, with which to attack the 
Greek hoplite ; while the cavalry was composed of the 
Iranian equites. The latter, being not very different 
from the Persian horse, are not mentioned in the 
picturesque catalogue of the seventh book of the history 
of Herodotus. It is noteworthy, however, that when 
Mardonius was selecting a picked force to carry on the 
campaign after the death of Xerxes, he chose " Medes, 
Sacse, Bactrians and Indians, both infantry and cav- 
alry/' 1 which testifies to the military prowess of the 
Bactrian army. We shall not be far wrong if we 
imagine that the Bactrian cavalry were principally re- 
tained ; the footmen with their cane bows would only 
be useful as skirmishers, and were hardly likely to 
make much impression against the hoplite, with his 
long pike, heavy armour, and close formations. 
Masistes also took part in the campaign on the staff of 
Mardonius, and on his return to Sardis after the Battle 
of Mycal6 lost his life in a characteristic fashion. The 
queen, suspecting an intrigue between Xerxes and his 
brother's wife, contrived to seize her wretched rival and 
put her to death in a barbarous manner. Masistes fled 
to Bactria vowing to raise the satrapy and take condign 
vengeance, but was intercepted by cavalry and put to 
death, with his family and escort. 2 Hystaspes suc- 
ceeded to the vacant post. Apparently, he did not 
1 Herodotus, VIII. 113. 2 Ibid., VII. 108. 


venture to take any measures at once to avenge the in- 
sult ; but upon the death of Xerxes, in 464, he promptly 
revolted against Artaxerxes Longimanus, and was only 
subdued after two pitched battles. 1 

From the death of Xerxes to the invasion of Alex- 
ander the history of Bactria is almost a blank for us. 
Herodotus ends his story at the battle of Mycale, and 
Xenophon, our next authority on the subject of Persia, 
has little or nothing to tell us about the condition of 
Eastern Iran. Bactria appears to have remained a 
flourishing and prosperous state, unaffected by the 
degeneracy which was fast overtaking the western 
kingdom. Either Artaxerxes I. or his successor of the 
same name appears to have been a devotee of the 
Bactrian Anahid, and to have adorned her temple with 
the magnificent star-crowned statue, which is men- 
tioned so often in later literature. 

Bactria seems to have been used as a sort of 
" Siberia " under the Persian kings. Before the battle 
of Lad6 the Persian commanders tried to frighten the 
rebels into submission with threats of " banishment to 
Bactria " in case they failed to yield. Ordinarily, it has 
been remarked, the Greek maidens, at any rate, would 
have been sent to Susa : but Bactria is mentioned be- 
cause it would appear more distant and terrible to the 
Greeks, who all exaggerated the size of the Persian 
empire. 2 

A colony of Libyans from Barca was settled by 
Darius in Bactria ; 3 we never hear of them again. We 

1 Compare Diodorus, XI. 69, with what Ctesias tells us. 

2 Herodotus, VI. 9 ; and see Bawlinson's note. 

3 Ibid., IV. 204. 


shall, however, meet with the descendants of the Bran- 
chidae (settled by Xerxes on the north bank of the 
Oxus) under tragic circumstances. They had been 
guilty of betraying the Temple of Apollo at Didymi to 
the Persians, and were removed hither to escape the 
vengeance of their Greek neighbours. 


Of the ancient authorities, Herodotus holds the first place. 
Justin repeats legends from Ctesias, usually worthless. Equally 
unreliable are the Persian authorities — Firdousi, and others. 
For Iranian customs, see the translations of the Vendidad, 
Sacred Boohs of the East, iv. and xxxi., with valuable pre- 
faces by Darmsteter and Mills. 

Of modern authorities, Eawlinson (Five Great Oriental 
Monarchies) is still valuable. Von Gutschmid's articles in 
the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and his 
Geschichte Irans, are noteworthy, and also the up-to-date 
articles on "Zoroaster" and "Ancient Persia" in the latest 
edition of the Encyclopcedia, by Karl Geldner and Ed. Meyer. 



In 334 b.c. came the day of reckoning for Persia. 
The magnificent organization of the empire by 
Darius the Great had merely earned for him the 
title of the " shopkeeper " from the Persian nobility, 
and corruption and intrigue had reduced the greatest 
kingdom of antiquity to a huge unwieldy mass of 
States, still possessing enormous resources, but in- 
capable of utilizing them. The hardy Persian moun- 
taineers of two centuries before had become as 
luxurious and enervated as the alien nations they had 
displaced. The corruption, however, had not spread^ 
across the Carmanian Desert, and the Bactrians^of 
the East, owing to their constant wars with the 
Scythians, and their great distance from Susa, re- 
tained in their far-off rugged country some of the 
virtues of the primitive Iranians of the days of Cyrus 
the Great. ^— q 

The Viceroy of Bactria at the time of Alexander's 
invasion was Bessus, a distant cousin of Darius 
Codomannus. It was hardly likely that he would 
have much respect for the mild, weak prince, a 
puppet in the hands of the conspirators who had 
raised him to a dignity for which he had small ability 



or inclination. By this time, indeed, Bactria had 
drifted into the position of a semi-independent king- 
dom, little disposed to tolerate interference from the 
capital. As a matter of fact, the Persian kings, 
fully occupied as they were with their ceaseless round 
of intrigues and wars with Greece, had of late years 
had no time to meddle in their eastern provinces; 
nor would the Bactrians have brooked any attempt 
to bring them into line. Devoted to their satraps, 
they were always ready to follow them, if an am- 
bitious prince showed any disposition to strike for 

It is significant to notice that only 1,000 Bactrian 
cavalry took part in the great battle of Gaugamela, 1 a 
decisive struggle, to which one would have thought 
all the forces of the empire would have rallied. 
They fought, it is true, with the utmost gallantry. 
They opened the battle with a brilliant charge upon 
the Greek right, which was well pushed home, and 
for a time effectually checked the advance of the 
enemy. Alexander was compelled to run the risk of 
seriously weakening his centre before he was able to 
beat off this dangerous flank attack. But the fact 
remains that only a small Bactrian contingent took 
part in the engagement. No doubt Bessus was already 
awaiting a favourable opportunity for raising the 
standard of revolt, and had excellent reasons for 
lending his kinsman only a very perfunctory support. 

In the spring of 330 B.C., when the ancient capital 
of the Persians had fallen into the hands of the 
Macedonians, the final pursuit of Darius began. It 
1 October 1, 331 b.c. 


was felt that the last chance lay in falling back 
upon Eastern Iran. The great provinces of Bactria, 
Ariana, and Margiana, were as yet unaffected by the 
invasion ; but the unfortunate Darius was now little 
more than a prisoner in the hands of Bessus. From 
Ecbatana to Bagse, from Ragse to the Caspian gates, 
fled the unhappy monarch and his guardians, his 
forces melting away as he went. Alexander spared 
neither men nor horses in his wild pursuit. At last, 
one summer morning, after a desperate night ride of 
nearly fifty miles, with a few picked troopers he rode 
into the enemy's rearguard as dawn was breaking. 
The foe scattered at the onset ; a few miles further 
on Alexander found the last of the heirs of " Cyrus 
the King, the Achaemenian," lying among his dead 
mules and drivers, stabbed through and through. 
Bessus was far ahead, flying to Bactria to proclaim 
iiaiself king under the title of Artaxerxes. 

Alexander now entered upon the most difficult part 
of the Persian campaign. He was no longer at war 
with an effete and disorganized empire ; he was face 
to face with the primitive Iranians of East Persia, 
hardy warriors still retaining some of the virtues of 
the mountaineers who had conquered Assyria and 
Babylon, and whose simplicity and courage had won 
the admiration of the Greeks themselves. He had 
to march thousands of miles through an unknown 
country, across burning deserts and lofty mountains, 
where at any moment he might perish for want of 
food or water, or be cut off by a rising in his rear. 
But the splendid Macedonian force never hesitated. 
Hyrcania, the wooded country on the Caspian shore, 


was first subdued, and word was given to Parmenio 
to send a force to occupy this important point on the 
line of communications. A move was then made to 
Zadracarta, where a halt was called, and a concen- 
tration of the forces for an advance on Bactra was 
effected. Alexander's transport arrangements must 
have been admirable, for within a fortnight, notwith- 
standing the fact that the king and his little body 
of cavalry had travelled hundreds of miles ahead 
of the main army in pursuit of Darius, all was ready 
to push forward. 

Alexander had determined to advance by the great 
caravan route which runs through Susa and Merv 
to Bactra, along which water and provisions would 
be easily obtainable. Hardly, however, had he 
disappeared into the desert beyond Susa when 
Satibarzanes, satrap of Aria, who had lulled his sus- 
picions by a pretended submission, revolted, hoping, 
no doubt, to cut off his line of communication. 
Satibarzanes was a confederate of Bessus, and the 
design was to take the advancing Macedonians in 
flank and rear at once. It was a highly critical 
moment, for Satibarzanes was certain of the help of 
Barsaentes of Drangiana. Once more Alexander's 
marvellous speed in moving troops saved the situa- 
tion ; he turned abruptly south, and dashed down to 
Artocoana (Herat) in two days. His unexpected ap- 
pearance struck terror into the enemy. Satibarzanes 
galloped away in hot haste to Bactra ; Barsaentes was 
surrendered and executed. 

Alexander now altered his plans. He determined 
to attack Bactra from the south, subduing the pro- 


vinces en route, and founding colonies on the line 
of march to secure his rear. It was a terribly daring 
policy, but Alexander knew his own powers. The 
winter 330-329 b.c. was passed in Gedrosia. The 
idea was to cross the mountains as soon the passes 
were open, so as to enter the formidable deserts of 
southern Bactria before the hot weather made them 
impassable. In the early spring of 329 the columns 
began to march up the Helmand Valley. The re- 
mainder of the year was spent in advancing to the 
foot of the Paropamisus. Two prolonged halts were 
made : once in Arachosia, where a city was founded, 
which may still survive in the modern Kandahar, and 
once again at the foot of the actual defiles, where 
another veteran colony, numbering 7,000, was estab- 
lished. By this means the retreat was secured, and 
all chances of a revolt in the Macedonian rear were 
prevented. In the meantime Alexander was rejoined 
by a force from Aria, bringing the welcome news 
that they had defeated and killed Satibarzanes. 

Now began one of the most stupendous of Alex- 
ander's tasks. In front of him lay the vast unexplored 
ranges of the Hindu-Kush, with their precipitous 
gorges and pathless glaciers. It was a task more 
formidable than Hannibal's ; but the soldiers, though 
often reduced to raw mutton and the foetid silphium- 
root for sustenance, finally emerged triumphant upon 
the Bactrian plains. A prolonged halt was made 
at the frontier fortress of Drapsaca, the scattered 
forces were reorganized, and a move was made in the 
direction of Aornus. The sudden appearance of the 
Macedonians over the mountains appears to have 


utterly demoralized the foe, already perturbed by the 
fate of their Arian allies under Satibarzanes. The 
Bactrian cavalry had mobilized to the number of 
8,000, and now was their chance, when the enemy, 
disorganized by their privations and with most of 
their horses lying dead in the high passes, were 
debouching in detached columns upon the lower 
levels. But the Macedonians had acquired that 
prestige which is so invaluable to a commander. 
Nothing would face them ; henceforward Alexander's 
foes, until he came to India, where the terror of his 
name had not yet spread, would only stand up to 
him behind strong walls, and not in open battle. It 
is strange that Alexander should have been permitted 
to enter the gates of Bactra, the sacred stronghold of 
Zoroastrianism, without a blow. This famous city on 
other occasions offered to invaders the most desperate 
resistance recorded in the history of the ancient 
world, as its natural and artificial defences well 
enabled it to do. It must have been with feelings 
of more than ordinary interest that the war-worn 
generals looked round this remote yet famous town, 
which to Greeks of the last generation was so distant 
that it was spoken of as a semi-legendary place, on the 
confines of the world. But Bactra appears to have 
disappointed the Greeks, who, with their usual con- 
tempt for the " barbarian," noted with disapproval 
the revolting customs prevalent among the lower 
orders. The Saceans gave over their dead to dogs, 
and even allowed the infirm and old to "suffer the 
same fate — their bones littered the streets. Nor did 
the Zoroastrian custom of exposing corpses to the 


birds meet their approval, and Alexander promptly 
ordered the dakhmas, or Towers of Silence, to be 

Again the army made a brief halt. The situation 
was distressing enough. In the rear rumours of 
rebellion were rife, and it was doubtful if Erygius, 
an old and not very active general, was capable of 
the vast task of keeping open the lines of communi- 
cation. Owing to the state of the country, it was 
difficult to procure remounts to replace the horses 
lost in the mountains, and cavalry, in view of the 
enemy's mobility, was an absolute essential. But 
the first thing to be done was to crush Bessus before 
he should succeed in raising a formidable force 
in Sogdiana, whither he had fled. Once again 
Alexander advanced in pursuit. The journey from 
Bactra to the Oxus was short, but terribly trying. 
The hot weather had set in, and in spite of the pre- 
caution of marching at night, the troops arrived at 
the river bank half dead with thirst and exhaustion, 
for Bessus had taken the precaution to break down 
the bridges and destroy the provisions and wells during 
his retreat. Alexander very characteristically refused 
to drink or even unbuckle his armour till the last 
straggler had come in. We can well imagine his pride 
in the splendid troops who could overcome alike the 
intense cold of the passes of the Hindu-Kush and 
the horrors of a forced march through the Mid- 
Asian deserts in the height of summer. Bessus 
had burnt the boats ; but the Oxus was crossed on 
skins stuffed with straw, and the army set foot in 


It was at this juncture that one of the most dis- 
graceful incidents in Alexander's career took place, so 
utterly inexcusable that his biographers were ashamed 
to record it. 1 On the northern bank of the Oxus 
dwelt the little colony of Greeks descended from those 
Branchidae who had been deported thither by Xerxes 
to save them from the fury of the Milesians after the 
Persian wars. They streamed out in a joyous crowd 
to welcome, in broken Greek, the coming of their 
kinsmen ; but Alexander savagely ordered them to 
be surrounded and massacred. His reason was that 
their ancestors 2 had betrayed the Hellenic cause, and 
he, as the champion of Hellenic rights, was bound 
to avenge the wrong. It was precisely by such acts 
that Alexander showed how little he was imbued with 
the true Greek spirit; under the thin veneer of 
Hellenism lay the barbarian, ready to break out, on 
the smallest provocation, in ugly forms of senseless 

Alexander's advance over the Oxus had caused a 
further panic in the Bactrian camp. No obstacle, 
it seemed, would stop him; and the Sogdian con- 
federates of Bessus, Spitamenes and Dataphernes, 
decided to betray their leader, hoping thereby to 
pacify the invader and put an end to further con- 
quests in this region. Bessus was handed over to 
Ptolemy Lagus, and doomed to horrible, but not 
undeserved tortures ; but Alexander was not to be 
diverted from his purpose so easily. He saw that 

1 The story is only found in Curtius. There is, unfortunately, 
no reason to doubt it. 

2 Five generations had elapsed since the original misdeed. 



nothing less than the complete subjection of Iran 
would make an advance on India possible. 

The Macedonians advanced rapidly. Maracanda, 
the royal capital, fell, with other strong fortresses, 
and received a garrison, and the army pushed on to 
the Jaxartes. Here Alexander determined to found the 
last of his great colonies, Alexandria Ultima, on the 
banks of this distant river, to keep watch over the 
Scythians, and to protect the great trade route to China. 

Eesistance, however, though scotched, was not yet 
killed. With the disappearance of the King in the 
wilds of the north a great national reaction set in. The 
movement was primarily a religious one. Alexander 
had shown himself the enemy of Zoroastrianism : the 
burial customs of the Iranians had been forbidden, 
libraries and temples ransacked, and the sacred 
Avesta books either destroyed, or, what was almost 
a worse desecration, translated into Greek by recreant 
Persians to satisfy the curiosity of Greek savants. 

" Alexander the accursed " had aroused the deepest 
feelings of his enemies. 1 In Bactra the rumour was 
industriously circulated that a massacre of the Iranian 
knightly class was being planned, 2 which had the 
effect of stirring up considerable feeling against 

1 " Gazashte Alexander." The persecution of the Iranian 
religion is not mentioned by Greek writers. There is a per- 
sistent Persian tradition to this effect — e.g., J.B.B.B.A.S., xv., 
p. 37. 

2 Quintus Curtius, VII. 6 ; vide Arrian, iv. 1 sub fin. It is 
interesting to see the same story appearing in Persian sources 
in the apocryphal correspondence of Alexander and Aristotle, 
translated by Darmesteter, Journal Asiatique, 1894, vol. iii., 
pp. 185 ff. and 502 ff. (New Series). 


Alexander's viceroy, Artabazus. At the same time 
a fierce rising blazed up in Sogdiana. Cyropolis and 
other cities put their Macedonian garrisons to the 
sword. At Maracanda, Alexander's principal fortress, 
the citadel was fiercely beset, and the detachment 
scarcely able to hold its own. The revolt was ably 
organized by Spitamenes, and so encouraging did the 
prospects of success appear, that Oxyartes and the 
other princes of Eastern Sogdiana, who had hitherto 
remained quiet, decided to throw in their lot with 
their countrymen. The Sacae, terrified at the rise 
of the great fortress commanding the ford over the 
Jaxartes, were mustering ominously on the further 
bank, and a body of troops from the Massa Getse 
had gone to join Spitamenes. 

A demonstration in force dispersed the nomads, 
and the builders of Further Alexandria were left in 
peace. A force sent to relieve Maracanda was less 
lucky : they raised the siege, but in attempting to 
follow up their opponents were cleverly ambushed by 
Spitamenes and killed almost to a man. 

In the meanwhile Alexander was busy with Cyropolis, 
which he eventually captured, 1 and on his advance 
Spitamenes and his horsemen vanished into the wilds. 
The fighting which was necessary to subdue the 
country resembles that which the British had to 
undertake for the conquest of the Deccan. The 
Saceans and Bactrians, unable to face the Mace- 
donians in the field, bade them defiance from their 

1 The inhabitants were sent to populate Alexandria E senate. 
For the various cities founded and destroyed by Alexander see 
Appendix V., p. 165 (/), and the passages of Strabo there quoted. 


lofty rock-fortresses, which had to be stormed, often 
with considerable loss. " Can you fly?" asked 
Arimazes, the commandant of one of these strong- 
holds, in answer to a summons to surrender. 
Alexander convinced him that flying was not neces- 
sary by scaling, with a picked force of 300 men, 
a rocky crag which commanded the city. The 
garrison now surrendered, and Arimazes was crucified 
as a warning to the rest. By this policy, partly of 
coercion, partly of conciliation, Western Sogdiana 
was subdued so effectually that Peucolaus was able 
to keep order with a standing army of 3,000 men 
only. A chain of forts from the Oxus to the Ochus, 
where they joined hands with Alexandria Margiana, 
"velut freni domitarum gentium," as Gurtius says, 
kept the western border subdued, and prevented any 
incursions of the Dahae, who were allies of Spita- 
menes. Alexandria Eschate, now a formidable fortress, 
effectually checked any similar diversions from the 

The result of these measures was seen when 
Spitamenes was overtaken by the fate which, partly 
through his instrumentality, had befallen Bessus. 
He was betrayed by his confederates and murdered ; 
his head was sent to Alexander as a peace offering. 1 

The situation had thus improved considerably when 
Alexander ordered his troops, at the end of 328, into 
winter-quarters. It was not possible, however, to 
leave the country as yet, as Eastern Sogdiana still held 
out, and no operations were possible until the levies 
from Macedonia arrived. Alexander's striking force 

1 Arrian, IV. 17 fin. Curtius says his wife murdered him. 


must have become by this time very small indeed; 
besides his recent losses in the field, an immense 
number had been swallowed up by the numerous 
garrison colonies established at points of vantage. 
It was therefore decided for the winter months to 
hold the royal court at Maracanda, a huge fortress 
and palace, regarded as the ancient capital of the 
country, and admirably adapted for the purpose. 
Here 1 the unfortunate incident took place which cost 
Clitus his life. Alexander, like all Macedonians, was 
given to drinking, and the dryness of the climate is 
alleged by some as an excuse for his excessive indul- 
gence. It is hard, however, to blame the king parti- 
cularly for his share in this disgraceful scene. At the 
time of his murder Clitus was under orders to proceed 
to Bactra 2 to take over charge from Artabazus, who 
found that the post was beyond the capacity of a 
man of his years. Artabazus does not appear to 
have been a great success; Alexander's experiments 
of putting natives in charge of important posts did 
not always succeed. Clitus was now replaced by 

Early in 327, Alexander, having received his rein- 
forcements, moved out for a final campaign in 
Paraetacene. The heart of the native opposition 
centred round the gigantic fortress of Sisimithres, the 
Sogdian rock, which commands the passes leading 
into the country from the south. Here had assembled 

1 So Curtius. Arrian says the early part of the winter was 
spent at Zariaspa. For a discussion of the identity of this 
mysterious city, see Chapter I. fin. 

2 Curtius, VIII. 1 ; Arrian, IV. 17. 


Oxyartes, a brother 1 of Darius, with his family— the 
last hope of the royal race — and round him clustered 
the remnants of Bactrian independence. But the 
Macedonians were now experts in mountain war- 
fare, and surprised the citadel after a night attack. 
Among the captives was the beautiful Boxan^, 2 
daughter of Oxyartes. She was brought, with thirty 
other maidens, before the Macedonian chiefs as they 
sat at table. Her beauty so struck Alexander that, to 
the surprise of everyone, he there and then married 
her, after the simple Macedonian rite, 3 offering her 
bread divided with the sword, of which each partook. 
Alexander was usually indifferent to women, and it 
is impossible not to think that motives of policy had 
something to do with this romantic action. Marriage 
with a daughter of the royal race would go far to 
conciliate native opinion to his rule, for it had been 
Alexander's fixed claim since he first set foot in 
Persia that he was not a mere military invader, but 
the successor of the Achemeenidae upon the royal 
throne. Bactria was to be the base of his operations 
against India, and these would be impossible to carry 
out unless the country was completely settled. He 
also wished to set his veterans the example of marry- 
ing Persian wives, and making the new country their 

1 So Plutarch. Diodorus calls him " King of Bactria," and 
Firdousi says Boshanak is " Dara's daughter." 

2 I.e., Koshan-ak, "little star." Boshan= light, star ; -ak is 
an " affectionate " diminutive. 

3 For the details, see Plutarch, Alexander (Langhorne's 
translation, p. 478) ; Sikander Nama, canto xxxiii. ; Quintus 
Curtius, VIII. 4, 23 ; Arrian, Anab., IV. 21. Also the passage of 
Strabo given in the Appendix, p. 165 (/). 


homes, so as to secure his conquests permanently. He 
was followed by Seleucus, who married Apama, the 
daughter of the dead Spitamenes, and thus peculiarly 
qualified himself and his successors for the position 
they afterwards claimed. It cannot, however, be 
said that the alliance was popular with the Mace- 
donian generals at large. Alexander on his return 
to Bactra was more autocratic than ever. Incited, 
perhaps, by his wife, he insisted on prostrations and 
other servile signs of obedience, after the Persian 
fashion, from the court. The resulting discontent led 
to the " Conspiracy of the Pages," as it was called. 
The conspiracy was, as usual, stamped out in blood. 
It cannot be said that Roxan6 got much happiness 
from her romantic marriage. Almost immediately 
after Alexander set out for India, whence he returned 
only to die. A few months after his death she bore 
him a son, Alexander iEgus, as he is meaninglessly 
called. 1 After Antipater's death mother and child 
fled to Epirus, only to be caught and cruelly 
murdered by Cassander. 

Alexander might well have rested on his laurels 
after the stupendous achievements of the past three 
years. He had performed a feat which in any age 
would have been entitled to the admiration of man- 
kind; at that time it was almost superhuman. He 
had literally conquered a new world, and not only 
conquered, but settled it. In spite of lines of com- 
munication 2,000 miles in length, he had never 
suffered a serious reverse. He had penetrated, without 

1 Airos is a silly mistake for AAA02 (i.e., Alexander the 


maps or guides, over precipitous mountains and track- 
less deserts, in the face of an active and warlike 
enemy, and through the midst of hostile country. 
None but a genius for organization, with a perfect 
transport and a magnificently trained intelligence 
department, could have done this. It has been 
maintained that he never met with real resistance; 
the truth was that in most cases his movements 
were so rapid that he took his foe by surprise. The 
Iranian was as stout a soldier as any in the ancient 

But there was no rest for Alexander. Spring saw 
him busy with the preparations for a descent upon 
India. The first thing to do was obviously to secure 
his base. For this purpose an army of 11,500 was 
posted at Bactra under Amyntas, while twelve 
garrison towns were founded in Bactria and Sogdiana, 
in which were placed the troops who were likely to 
be refractory at the prospect of a further advance. 1 
They were a turbulent crowd, and must have num- 
bered nearly 30,000 men. Some of them revolted 
immediately after Alexander's departure, and tried 
to set up a certain Athenodorus as their king. He 
was murdered; whereupon a body of malcontents, 
under a leader named Bico, left Bactria. Amyntas 
probably made no effort to detain them. 2 

A much larger body, computed by some at 23,000, 
also fled on receiving the news of Alexander's death. 
They entered Media, where they were cut to pieces by 

1 Justin. XI. 6 fin. 

2 Curtius. IX. 7. He may be relating what really happened 
after Alexander's death. 


satrap Peithon, who probably had no alternative in 
dealing thus with his unwelcome visitors. 1 

In the meanwhile Bactria appears to have been 
fairly peaceful. Tyriaspes, 2 governor of Paropamisus 
and Kabul, was accused of extortion, and petitions were 
sent to Alexander for redress. They reached him on 
the Indus, and he sent back orders for the offender's 
execution. Tyriaspes was replaced by Oxyartes. 
Oxyartes had been suspected of complicity in the 
conspiracy of the pages, but, probably owing to the 
intercession of Boxane, had escaped. 3 

There is some ground for thinking that Amyntas, 
perhaps owing to the incompetence shown by him in 
dealing with the turbulent settlers, was superseded 
by Stasanor of Soli. Sogdiana, apparently, was then 
put in charge of " Philip the Praetor," governor of 
Parthia, who subsequently became satrap of Bactria 
as well. Oxyartes remained in charge of Kabul for 
some years, perhaps until the province was handed 
over by Seleucus Nicator to Chandragupta. Ap- 
parently, both he and Stasanor assumed a semi- 
independent position after Alexander's death. 


Arrian and Curtius, and, incidentally, Justin and Strabo. 
Arrian is the most valuable. Their merits have been discussed 
in the Introduction. 

1 Diod. Sic, XVIII. 7. 

2 Tirystes, Arrian, VI. 15 ; Terioltes, Curtius, IX. 8. 

3 " Oxathres, praetor Bactrianorum, non absolutus modo sed 
etiam jure amplioris imperii donatus est " (Curtius). 



On the death of Alexander, the huge edifice which the 
master-mind had built up melted away almost as 
quickly as it had sprung up into being. Alexander 
had done all that forethought and policy could suggest 
to consolidate his conquest on his march to the East, 
but he was removed before the schemes he had set in 
motion had time to mature. His officers had learned 
only too well the lessons which Alexander the general 
had to teach ; Alexander the apostle of Hellenism, the 
founder of a cosmopolitan world-empire, they utterly 
failed to comprehend. 1 
ix^At first Perdiccas, by virtue of his personal ascen- 
dancy, established a temporary modus vivendi, with 
himself as regent ; he lacked, however, the magic 
personality of his great predecessor, and in a short 
time the mutual rivalry of the generals plunged Asia 
into war, Perdiccas himself finding his death on the 
banks of the Nile at the hands of his own troopers. 
One of the most distressing of the effects of Alex- 

1 " It was the fond dream of each * successor' of Alexander 
that in his person might, perhaps, be one day united all the 
territories of the great conqueror " (Eawlinson, Sixth Oriental 
Monarchy, chap. iii.). 



ander's untimely end was that the Macedonian invasion 
of the East, instead of consolidating the various Asiatic 
nations into a great Hellenic State, in which the im- 
mense resources of the Persian Empire were turned to 
proper account, resulted merely in bitter discord and 
further disintegration. The Macedonian troops, who 
had marched across half a continent to accomplish 
what had been, perhaps, the greatest project which 
human enterprise has ever conceived, were now, as a 
reward for their labours, set at one another's throats, 
and the mild, if ineffective, government of the 
Achaemenids was exchanged for something infinitely 
worse — the tyranny of a foreign military autocracy, 
who turned the country which they had conquered 
into a battle-field of rival factions. 

After the death of Perdiccas, a second and somewhat 
more successful attempt at a settlement was made in 
321 b.c. at the conference of Triparadisus. From this 
time two great personalities emerge from the con- 
fused tangle of contending forces — Seleucus and 
Antigonus. Seleucus, now satrap of Babylon, was 
obliged by motives of policy to side with his rival in 
the struggle against Eumenes, but Antigonus saw in a 
confederate so indispensable a more than probable rival, 
and Seleucus only anticipated the fate of Eumenes and 
Pithon by a providential escape into Egypt with a hand- 
ful of horse. In 312 b.c, however, we find him back 
in Babylon, casting about for means to establish an 
empire whose resources would enable him to meet his 
great rival in the West. Whither could he better turn 
than to the East ? The clash of arms which rever- 
berated through these unquiet years from end to 


end of Asia Minor only awoke distant echoes in the 
far eastern frontier. East of the Cophen, Macedonian 
influence was steadily on the decline, the generals who 
had conquered the East being far too busy with the 
task of destroying one another to keep an eye on the 
government of the lands which had cost them so much 
blood and labour to acquire. Pithon, the ruler of 
Sind, had been compelled to vacate his command by 
320 b.c. Eudamus, in command of the garrison at 
Alexandria-on-Indus, went home (after murdering his 
native colleague and collecting all the plunder he could 
lay hands on *), with a body of troops, to participate in 
the scramble for power, in 317 b.c, probably only 
anticipating expulsion by voluntary evacuation. 2 

West of the Cophen, Stasanor continued to govern 
Bactria, and Oxyartes the province which lies in the 
triangle between the Indus and Cophen and the Para- 
pamisus range. The kinsman of Darius even appears 
to have sent help to the confederates in the war with 
Antigonus, but was allowed to remain unmolested. 
Perhaps, on the receipt of the news of the tragic end of 
his daughter and grandson, he changed sides, or with- 
drew from the contest ; his influence, in any case, was 
of no weight on either side. In 306 b.c. the peace of 
Bactria was once more disturbed. Seleucus entered 
the country and demanded its allegiance. We may 
imagine that it was given without any prolonged 
resistance, as Justin passes over the fact in a single 

i Diodorus, XIX. 4. 

2 " . . . India . . . post mortem Alexandri, veluti cervicibus 
jugo servitutis excusso, praefectos eius occiderat. Auctor liber- 
tatis Sandracottus fuerat " (Justin, XV. 4). 


sentence. 1 But when once more the glint of Mace- 
donian pikes was descried on the winding road 
descending the Kabul Pass, India was ready to meet 
her invaders on more equal terms. Chandragupta, 2 
the first of the Mauryas, had seized the throne of 
Magadha, expelling the last of the Nandas, whose 
weak and unpopular rule had left their kingdom an 
easy prey to this bold usurper. 

Chandragupta had studied in the school of Alex- 
ander, and had learnt much from the great general 
whom he worshipped as a hero of semi-divine powers. 
What happened in the encounter we do not know. 
Probably Seleucus recognized the futility of a struggle 
when he found his opponents in such unexpected 
strength, 3 particularly in view of his coming in conflict 
with Antigonus. Terms were concluded satisfactorily 
to both ; and while Seleucus returned with his forces 
considerably augmented by Indian elephants and, no 
doubt, subsidies from Bactria, Chandragupta was 
allowed to extend his domains up to the edge of the 

i «p r incipio Babylona cepit ; inde, auctis ex victoria viribus, 
Bactrianos expugnavit " (Justin, XV. 4). This is condensation 
with a vengeance. 

2 Sandracottus. " Populum quern ab externa dominatione 
vindicaverat, ipse servitio premebat." (Justin, loc. cit.). 

3 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 elephants 
(V. A. Smith, Early History of India, p. 117, second edition). 
But it is unwarranted to talk of Seleucus as "defeated" or 
" humbled," as Smith does. Our authorities imply nothing of 
the kind. It was a compromise : Seleucus gave up lands over 
which he had never been able to exercise a de facto sovereignty 
in return for a lucrative alliance. The actual terms are dis- 
puted. For the pros and cons, see Smith, Appendix G, p. 132, 
of his History of India, 


Parapamisus, probably including in his territory 
Arachosia and part of Gedrosia. They were useless to 
a ruler engaged in a life and death struggle 2,000 miles 
away, and, unlike Bactria, were not valuable for sup- 
plying subsidies of men or money to any extent. 

At Ipsus (301 b.c.) Antigonus fell, and Asia passed 
into the hands of Seleucus. For fifty years we hear 
nothing of Bactria. The " rowdy " element, it will be 
remembered, had passed out of the land on the death 
of Alexander, to find their fate at the swords of Pithon's 
troops. The remaining Greeks appeared to have inter- 
married with the Iranian populace, and to have settled 
down peacefully under the rule of the Greek satrap. 
Even in religion a compromise appears to have been 
effected, the Greeks recognizing in Anahid of Bactria 
their own Artemis or Venus. In 281 b.c. Seleucus 
fell by the blow of an assassin, and in the endless and 
insensate struggle which ensued between Syria and 
Egypt, Bactria seized an obvious opportunity to cast 
off a yoke which had become little more than nominal. 
Antiochus II. (Theos) succeeded his father (of the 
same name) in 260 b.c. He carried on the futile 
campaigns against his neighbours, and it was not 
long ere the inhabitants of Parthia and Bactria 
recognized the folly of paying tribute to a distant 
monarch who was incapable of enforcing respect or 

The details of this great revolt, which wrested from 
Syria the fairest jewel of her crown, and established 
one of the most remarkable of the many offshoots of 
Hellenic colonial enterprise in the heart of Asia, are 
somewhat obscure. Bactria had enormously increased 


in power with fifty years' almost continuous peace ; 
and Justin's mention of the "thousand cities" ruled 
over by the prefect of Bactria conveys a general notion 
of the prosperity of the country. The prefect of 
Bactria had furthermore, it seems, acquired a certain 
overlordship over the satrap of the country which 
afterwards became famous as Parthia. 1 This small 
tract of land, comprising chiefly the Tej end watershed, 
was quite insignificant 2 when compared with the vast 
tracts of Bactria and Sogdiana, but contained a breed 
of men antagonistic from every point of view to the 
province which claimed their homage — they were non- 
Aryan, accustomed to plunder their more civilized 
neighbours, and born fighting-men. Their satrap at 
the time appears to have been one Andragoras, who 
may have succeeded on the death of Stasanor. We 
cannot, perhaps, do better than to consider what Justin 
(our chief authority) has to say about the revolt which 
freed Parthia and Bactria from the Syrian Empire. 
"After the death of Antigonus," says Justin, 3 "the 
Parthians were under the rule of Seleucus Nicator, and 
then under Antiochus and his successors, from whose 
great-grandson, Seleucus, they revolted, at the time of 
the first Punic war, in the consulship of Lucius 
Manilius Vulso and Marcus Attilius Begulus. For 
their revolt, the disputes between the brothers Anti- 
gonus and Seleucus gave them impunity ; for the two 

1 I infer this from what Strabo says of Arsaces : " According 
to one account, he was a Bactrian, who withdrew himself from 
the encroachments of Diodotus, and established Parthia as an 
independent State " (XI. 9, 3). 

2 kclt ap\as fxev ovv d(r6€vr)S rjv (Strabo, XI. 9, 2). 

3 Justin, XLI. 4, 5. 


latter were so intent on ousting one another from the 
throne that they neglected to chastise the revolters. 
At the same period, also Theodotus, governor of 1,000 
cities in Bactria, rebelled, and took the kingly title, 
whereupon the other nations of the East, following his 
lead, fell away from Macedon too. One Arsaces, a 
man of uncertain origin but undoubted courage, arose 
at this period. He was accustomed to make his liveli- 
hood as a bandit, and heard a report that Seleucus 
had been worsted by the Gauls in Asia. Feeling him- 
self safe from interference, Arsaces invaded Parthia 
with a band of brigands, defeated and killed Andra- 
goras, the governor, and took the reins of Government 
into his own hands." 

This is by far the fullest account of the revolution 
which we possess, and it is more than usually full of 
Justin's usual inaccuracies. First of all, what does 
Justin consider the date of the revolt to have been ? 
He mentions "the Consulship of L. Manilius Vulso 
and M. Attilius Regulus." This was the year 256 b.c. 
Supposing, however, that Marcus Attilius is a mistake 
for Gaius Attilius, who was consul with Lucius Manilius 
Vulso in 250 B.C., the latter date would be that of the 
revolt, 1 and this agrees with the opinion of later 
authorities, 2 who place the revolt in "the eleventh 
year of Antiochus EL" What Justin means by going 
on to refer to the "fraternal war" between Seleucus 
and Antiochus, or to the "report of a reverse suffered 

1 I follow, with some reservations, Rawlinson's Sixth Oriental 
Monarchy, p. 44, note. 

2 Eusebius, Chronicle, II., p. 82 ; Moses of Chorene, History 
of Armenia, II. Ifin. 


at the hands of the Gauls," it is difficult to determine. 
The " fraternal war " broke out on the death of Antio- 
chus Theos in 246 B.C., between Seleucus Callinicus 
and Antiochus Hierax; but if this is the case, why 
mention the consuls for the year 250 b.c. ? Perhaps 
Justin is confusing two separate accounts, and we 
may reconstruct the story of the revolt as follows : 

In 250 b.c. Diodotus revolted (while Antiochus Theus 
was busy with his Egyptian war), and Andragoras as 
his vassal followed suit. The revolutions were practi- 
cally simultaneous, 1 but Bactria set the example. But 
the native Parthians cordially hated their rivals and 
masters on racial and other grounds, and in the years 
between 246 b.c. and 240 b.c. (the reference to the 
"reverse at the hands of the Gauls" must refer to 
rumours about the battle of Ancyra in 240 b.c), a 
patriotic Parthian, who had taken upon himself the 
royal title of Arsaces, 2 returned from exile among the 
Parnian Dahae, of the same race as himself 3 in the 
Ochus Valley, whence he had been carrying on a border 
war since his banishment and slew Andragoras. 4 He 
then proceeded to set up a purely native state, strongly 
anti-Hellenic, 5 in which all traces of Alexander's 
influence were effaced. This, however, is at best a 

1 " Eodem tempore, Theodotus " (Justin, XLI. 4). Strabo 

says: Trp&rov /xei> rrjv BaKTpidvrjv cnr£(rTr}(Tav oi izzinaTtvpuivoi, 
. . . €7T€LTa 'ApadKrjs iirrfkBev kcu eKparrjcrcv avrrjs. 

2 Arsa-kes (c/. the Scythian Maua-kes) was a title, not a name, 
as Justin remarks (XLI. 5). So Surenas (commander) was often 
mistaken for a proper name. Cf. Tac, Ann., VI. 42. 

3 Strabo, IX. 9, 2. * Justin, XLI. 5. 

5 The title " Phil-Hellen " assumed by the later Parthian 
kings is merely an attempt to repel the taunt of " barbarism " 
levelled at the race by its more cultured neighbours. 


conjectural version of the story, and takes no account 
of the assertion of Arrian, 1 that the revolt was against 
Pherecles, satrap of Antiochus Theus. 

It seems fairly clear, however, that Diodotus re- 
volted in the reign of Antiochus Theus, and this 
theory finds some support in the coins of Bactria 
which have been handed down to us. In Professor 
Gardner's Coins of the Seleucid Kings of Syria 2 we 
find figured one series which bears the inscription of 
Antiochus II., but a portrait which is certainly that 
of Diodotus, as figured in his coins. Did Diodotus, 
as Professor Gardner thinks, issue these coins, as a 
first tentative step towards open rebellion, " to sup- 
plant his master in the eyes of the people " ? It may 
well be so, and we may conjecture that he did not 
venture into open revolt until he found this first 
advance unreproved by the Syrian monarch. 3 

Other authorities, relying on the fact that the face 
of the coins is that of a young man, consider the 
whole series to belong to the younger Diodotus, and 
that the father issued no coins in his own name at 
all. 4 In support of this theory, it must be remembered 
that Diodotus I. appears to have died in 245 b.c. (if 
we date the change in policy towards Parthia from 

1 Fragment I. Arrian makes out that it was a private 
quarrel. The satrap grossly insulted Tiridates, whereupon his 
brother murdered him and raised a rebellion. 

2 Plate V., 7. 

3 For discussion of the whole question of dates in connection 
with the two revolts, see Eawlinson, Sixth Oriental Monarchy, 
chap. iii. ; Bevan, House of Seleucus, i., p. 286 ; and V. A. 
Smith, History of India, p. 196. 

4 V. A. Smith, Catalogue of Coins in Calcutta Museum, 
Introduction and Notes, pp. 6, 7. 


his death), and coins would scarcely have the same 
opportunity of passing into general circulation as 
they faould in the long reign of his son. 1 The 
Bactrian coins are all particularly fine and interesting, 
and those of the Diodoti are among the best. The 
cognizance of the Diodoti, before and after the revolt, 
appears to have been the figure of " Zeus thundering." 
Von Sallet puts down to Bactria, before the revolt, 
the silver coins 2 bearing the bust of Antiochus II. on 
the reverse, and on the obverse Zeus, striding to the 
left and hurling a bolt. These may belong to the 
period of Diodotus I., and the coins mentioned above 
as bearing the types and names of Antiochus and the 
portrait of Diodotus may have been the earliest issue 
of his son. Other fine coins of Diodotus (father or 
son — the face is always the same, and is that of a 
young man, clean shaven, with a severe but purely 
Hellenic type of feature) — are the gold one pictured 
by Professor Rapson, 3 and the silver ones figured by 
Gardner in his catalogue. 4 All bear the image of the 
" Thundering Zeus," striding to the left and hurling 
his bolt, on the reverse. One bronze coin only bears 

1 In dealing with Euthydemus, we shall observe that he 
claims " to have destroyed the children of those who first 
rebelled." This surely implies that Strabo believed in the 
existence of two rulers of the name of Diodotus, the second of 
the two being the one whom Euthydemus murdered. Justin is 
quite clear on this point : " Tiridates, morte Theodoti metu 
liberatus, cum filio eius — et ipso Theodoto— foedus ac pacem fecit." 

2 I.M., 7616 and 9304. 

3 In his article on Greek and Scythian coins contributed to 
the Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie. 

4 Gardner, Catalogue of Greek and Scythic Kings, etc. 
Plate I., Nos. 4 to 8. 


a figure of Artemis with torch and hound, and on the 
obverse a head which may be that of Zeus. 1 

It has been already remarked that there was no 
love lost between the Bactrians and their fellow- 
revolters, the Parthians. The Parthians, who imme- 
diately followed the lead of their powerful neighbours, 
did not win complete freedom for some years after- 
wards, probably, as we have seen, not till after the 
accession of Seleucus Callinicus; and, apparently, 
Arsaces dreaded Bactria a good deal more than Syria. 

The year 247 b.c. witnessed the meteoric invasion 
of Syria by Ptolemy Euergetes, who penetrated to the 
very borders of Bactria, without, however, entering 
the newly-constructed kingdom, as far as we can 
judge. The expedition stopped short at this point, 
owing to domestic sedition, and the invasion of 
Ptolemy was only one more incident of the cruel and 
useless war that was draining the life-blood of Western 
Asia. Tiridates (or Arsaces II., for his brother, the 
great founder of Parthia, had fallen in battle) now 
proceeded to annex Hyrcania, and shortly after took 
the surprising step of coming to terms with Bactria. 
This effectually disposes of the theory that Diodotus II. 
only exists in the pages of Trogus and Justin. 2 The 
alliance could never have been made in the reign of 
the first Diodotus, the determined opponent of Parthia, 

1 Gardner, Catalogue of Greek and Scythic Kings, etc., 
Plate I., 9. Diodotus assumes the title Swrrjp, referring (if the 
title has any definite meaning) to the part played by Bactria 
in protecting the eastern flank of the Hellenic world from the 
barbarians. This was always acknowledged to be the chief 
function of Bactria. 

2 Introduction to Gardner's Catalogue. 


and the strongest foe to Arsaces, even from motives 
of fear, for it is not likely that the "prefect of a 
thousand cities " would fear a discredited and harassed 
monarch like Seleucus. It is more likely that the 
treaty was concluded, as Justin says, by the second 
Diodotus, just before the advance of Seleucus to sub- 
due the invader of Hyrcania, whose challenge could 
hardly be overlooked. We may conclude, then, that 
Diodotus II. succeeded his father some time between 
the acquisition of Hyrcania by Parthia and the in- 
vasion of Seleucus. Common consent has fixed the 
date at about 245 b.c. Diodotus reigned till 230 B.C., 
and probably lived to regret the unnatural alliance he 
formed in his early youth, for Tiridates, thanks to his 
complaisance, won a complete and unexpected victory 
over the " ever-victorious " Seleucid, and launched 
Parthia on its great career as the rival, not only of 
Bactria or Syria, but Borne itself. 1 

Diodotus fell the victim of a court conspiracy, at 
the hands of one Euthydemus, a Magnesian, who 
appears to have taken effectual means to prevent any 
of the rival family from disputing his right to the 
throne. It is possible that the murder was caused 
by discontent at the tame policy of Diodotus, who 
appears to have done little for Bactria in comparison 
with his successors, and certainly committed a fatal 
error of policy in his alliance with Parthia. Diodotus 
appears to have fallen some years before Antiochus III. 
appeared on the throne of Syria, which was as well 
for the sake of Bactrian freedom. His death probably 

1 Date uncertain. Eawlinson {Sixth Oriental Monarchy, 
p. 48) says 237 b.c. But is this not too late ? 


took place about 230 B.C., after which a great change 
takes place in Bactrian policy, marked by a correspond- 
ing cessation of activity by the Parthians. 

So ended the dynasty which founded Bactria as 
a free state. In themselves not remarkable, later 
monarchs x were glad to claim kinship with the 
earliest kings of Bactria, and even to give Diodotus I. 
the title of " Divine." 

Additional Note to Chapter IV. 

Antimachus "Theos": This mysterious king, whose title 
would lead us to suppose him to be a personage of some impor- 
tance, is only known to us from coins ; historians have over- 
looked him. He appears to have been a son, or close relation 
of, Diodotus II., as his coins bear on the obverse that king's 
head, and on the reverse the naked Zeus hurling the bolt. 
V. A. Smith (Catalogue of Coins in Calcutta Museum, p. 10) 
thinks " he succeeded Diodotus II. in Kabul." But surely 
Kabul was at this time in the hands of the Mauryas. 2 

He appears to have been a member of the royal house, who, 
on the murder of Diodotus EL, proclaimed himself as the 
rightful heir. The inscription on the coins — BA21AEYONT02 
ANTIMAXOY 0EOY — is that of a man who wished to emphasize 
his " divine right" to the throne, and after a brief reign as 
the head of "the legitimist faction," was quietly crushed by 

1 Agathocles. See his coins in Gardner (Plate IV., and 
Introduction, pp. xxviii, xxix). 

2 See, however, V. A. Smith, Early History of India, p. 194, 
and Eapson, Coins of the Andhras, Introduction, p. xcviii. 



Strabo, XI. 9, 3 ; Justin, XL! 4, 5, etc. ; V. A. Smith (Early 
History of Ind/ia\ E. E. Bevan (House of Seleucus, vol. i.) 
give accounts of the rebellion. Some useful remarks will be 
found in Eawlinson's Sixth Oriental Monarchy, chap. iii. 
For coins, see Gardner's Catalogue of the Coins of Greek and 
Scythic Kings of Bactria and India in the British Museum, 
Valuable articles by Ed. Meyer (s.v. Diodotus, Bactria, etc.) will 
be found in the Encyclopcedia Britannica, eleventh edition. 



It must have been about the year 230 b.c. that 
Euthydemus, the Magnesian, murdered Diodotus and 
usurped his throne. Who Euthydemus was is quite 
unknown ; but no doubt a kingdom with the romantic 
history of Bactria appealed to the Greek imagination, 
and attracted many " soldiers of fortune " ready to 
make a bid for success in the new world which had 
just been thrown open to them. 

The treachery of Euthydemus was palliated, if not 
justified, by its success. Under him and his successors 
Bactria not only magnificently vindicated her rights 
to an independent existence, but launched upon a 
career of conquest and expansion which paralyzed her 
rivals, and was destined to spread Hellenic influence 
more surely and permanently than had been done by 
the great Macedonian himself. So remarkable is the 
career of Euthydemus, that later historians forget 
the existence of Diodotus. " The house of Euthy- 
demus," says Strabo, " was the first to establish 
Bactrian independence." l It is possible, indeed, that 

1 He is thinking of the successful repulse of Antiochus ; before 
this Bactria was only a kingdom " on sufferance." 



the weak and vacillating policy of Diodotus par- 
ticularly towards Bactria's national and well-hated 
rival, Pp,rthia, was to a large degree responsible for 
his murder, which could hardly have taken place 
without the connivance of at least the great Iranian 

Euthydemus had some years of uneventful pros- 
perity in which to consolidate the empire he had 
seized before he was challenged to vindicate his right 
by the ordeal of war. In 223 b.c. Antiochus III., 
second son of Seleucus Callinicus, succeeded to the 
throne of Syria. Antiochus has some right to the 
title of " The Great," which he assumed. He is one 
of the few Syrian monarchs for whom we can feel 
any real respect, combining as he did the personal 
valour which had become a tradition among the 
successors of Alexander's generals with a military 
talent and a reluctance to waste the resources of his 
kingdom in interminable petty campaigns, which is 
only too rare in his predecessors. 

It was only in reply to a direct challenge from 
Parthia that Antiochus interfered at all in what was 
taking place in the east of his dominions. Arta- 
banus I. (who succeeded Tiridates I. about 214 b.c), 
pursuing the policy of aggression which under his 
predecessors had succeeded so admirably, took advan- 
tage of the rebellion of a satrap named Achaeus to 
advance and occupy Media. This was open defiance, 
and Antiochus could not ignore it if he would. An 
arduous campaign followed. Antiochus did not make 
the mistake of underrating his foe, and Justin even 
puts his forces at 100,000 infantry and 20,000 



cavalry. 1 However, the Parthians merely fell back 
farther and farther into their mountain fastnesses, 
and at length the dogged courage of Artabanus found 
its own reward. 

The independence for which Parthia had fought so 
well and so persistently was at last recognized, and 
Antiochus even condescended to form an alliance 
with his gallant antagonist, 2 though lesser Media was 
restored to Syria. Perhaps, however, it was Artabanus 
who suggested to Antiochus the invasion of the rival 
State of Bactria, and he may even have lent him 
troops or promised co-operation. He may have 
pointed out to Antiochus what was fast becoming 
apparent, that Bactria, under the peaceful rule of 
Euthydemus, with its great natural resources, and 
the advantage of an enterprising Greek to direct its 
fortunes, was fast becoming a menace to Parthia and 
Syria alike. Besides, it would be a triumph of 
diplomacy if Parthia could divert the forces of so 
dreaded a neighbour against her cherished rival. 
Whichever way the fortunes of war might veer, 
Parthia must be the gainer. If Antiochus were 
successful, the fidelity and assistance of Artabanus 
might be rewarded by the control of Bactria, and, at 
the least, Bactrian aggression would be checked for 
ever. On the other hand, if the Syrian forces were 
defeated, anarchy would no doubt soon reign once 
more in Syria, and Parthia would find her oppor- 
tunity for further expansion once again. Antiochus 
had an excuse at hand for yielding to the arguments 

1 Justin, XVI. 5. 

2 Ibid., "Postremum in societatem ejus admissus." 


of Artabanus, if indeed we are right in supposing the 
Syrian monarch to have been influenced in his action 
by his new ally. Bactria had incurred the enmity of 
the Seleucids in the reign of the last monarch ; the 
weak and short-sighted policy of Diodotus II. had 
enabled Parthia to establish her independence, as we 
have seen, unmolested ; and, above all, the Syrian 
Empire, rich though it was, had been almost exhausted 
by years of suicidal war and misgovernment, and 
could ill afford the loss of the most fertile of her 
provinces, "the glory of Iran/' 1 as it was popularly 
called. To regain the allegiance of Bactria was a 
natural ambition. 

The expedition against Bactria must have started 
in the year 209 b.c, perhaps in the early spring. 
Antiochus chose to attack the country by approaching 
from the south and striking at the capital. 

The campaign has been described by Polybius 2 in 
the concise vivid style which gives the reader so ready 
an impression of military operations. Unfortunately, 
the chapter is an isolated fragment only, and breaks 
off after a description of the battle with which the 
campaign opened, leaving all account of the subse- 
quent operations a blank. Of the invasion, however, 
the ravages of time have spared us a minute account. 
Antiochus marched along the southern borders of the 
Arius, the river which rises in the Hindu-Kush, and 
loses itself, like so many rivers in that region, in the 
shifting sands and fertile patches just beyond the 
Tejend Oasis. The invader had of necessity to choose 

1 Strabo, Geog., XL 11, 1. 

2 Polybius, XL 34, and X. 49. 


his route in a march upon Bactria, if he wished to 
avoid the hardships and perils of the Bactrian wastes. 
He learnt that the ford x by which he intended to 
cross into the enemy's territory was held in force by 
the famous Bactrian cavalry, and to attempt to force 
a passage in the face of these was to court disaster. 
Knowing, however, that it was a Bactrian custom 2 
to withdraw their main army at night, leaving a thin 
screen of pickets to hold the positions occupied, 
Antiochus determined on a bold bid for success. 
Leaving his infantry behind, he advanced swiftly and 
suddenly with a picked body of cavalry, and attacked, 
probably at dawn, so unexpectedly, that he carried 
the passage almost unopposed, driving the pickets 
back upon the main body. A fierce encounter now 
took place between the picked horsemen of Iran and 
Syria. Antiochus, with the recklessness characteristic 
of the successors of Alexander and his generals, led 
the charge, and after a hand-to-hand combat, in which 
he received a sabre-cut in the mouth and lost several 
teeth, he had the satisfaction of routing the enemy 
completely. The main Syrian army now came up 
and crossed the river. Euthydemus appears not to 
have risked a general engagement, but to have fallen 

1 Close to a city called by Polybius Tayovplav. Von Gutschmid 
emends to Ta Yavplava. The ford was a little to the west of 
the town. 

2 It was also a Parthian habit. The reason was that the 
Parthian and Bactrian troops were almost all mounted, and a 
sudden night attack upon a mounted force would cause horrible 
confusion. Hence they always withdrew to a safe distance from 
the enemy at night. A Parthian force, for similar reasons, 
never marched or attacked at night. 


back on his almost impregnable capital. Of the 
details of the siege we know nothing, but it may be * 
that it is to this blockade that Polybius refers when 
he says that the " siege of Bactria " was one of the 
great sieges of history, and a common-place for poet 
and rhetorician. Time wore on, and still the " City 
of the Horse " held out. A long absence from home 
was unsafe for Antiochus, for the Syrian Empire 
might at any moment break out into one of those 
incessant rebellions which were the bane of the 
Seleucid Empire. Both sides, perhaps, were not 
unready for a compromise, and this was brought 
about by the good offices of a certain Teleas, a fellow- 
countryman of Euthydemus, and hence especially 
suitable for the task. On behalf of the Bactrian 
prince, he pointed out that it was illogical to cast 
upon him the blame accruing from the policy of 
Diodotus II. in forming an alliance with Parthia. In 
fact, Euthydemus was the enemy of Diodotus, and 
had merited the gratitude of Antiochus in destroying 
the "children of those who first rebelled." 2 A still 
more cogent argument sufficed to convince the king. 
The Scythian hordes were on the move, and threaten- 
ing the borders of the Jaxartes like a storm-cloud. 
Bactria was the outpost of Hellenic civilization, and 
on its integrity depended the safety of the Syrian 

1 Von Gutschmid takes this for granted. This is scarcely 

2 I.e., Diodotus, and probably others of the family likely to 
be in the way. Perhaps "Antimachus Theos" (see appendix 
to preceding chapter) was one of them. These words seem to 
be very strongly in favour of the view that there were two 
kings of the name of Diodotus. 


empire ; and Euthydemus pointed out that to weaken 
Bactria would be a fatal step for the cause of Hellas. 
11 Greece would admittedly lapse into barbarism." x 

This is the first mention we have of the aggressive 
attitude of the tribes beyond the Jaxartes ; 2 but the 
problem was evidently not a new one to Euthydemus 
or to Antiochus. The Seleucid monarch came to the 
conclusion that it was to his interest to preserve the 
integrity of this great frontier state, which guarded 
the roads from India and the north. The terms 3 on 
which peace was concluded must have caused intense 
chagrin to the Parthian allies of Antiochus. 

An alliance, offensive and defensive, 4 was concluded 
between the royal houses of Bactria and Syria : this, 
of course, included the recognition of the claim by 
Euthydemus to the royal title, which was perhaps 
granted on condition that he should guard the 
Scythian frontier (for it was chiefly on this ground 
that the claim had been put forward) ; the alliance, 
moreover, was to be sealed by the betrothal of the 
young daughter 5 of Antiochus to Demetrius, the 

1 € K^ap/3apco6r}(T€(T6aL rrjv EWdda oyidkoyovyiivias* Von Gut- 
schmid makes a curious mistake here. Taking the passive voice, 
apparently, for a middle, he says, in his Encyclopaedia article, 
that Euthydemus " threatened to call in the barbarians and 
overrun the country." 

2 Vide Eawlinson, Sixth Oriental Monarchy, p. 58 note. 

3 For terms, vide Polybius, XL 34, 9-10. For the whole 
campaign (except the siege, of which we have been spared no 
account except the doubtful reference, Book XXIX.) I have 
followed Polybius. See also Bevan, House of Seleucus, II. 23 ; 
and Eawlinson, loc. cit. Date of the treaty, ? 208 B.C. 

4 (TVfJLfJLaXlCl* 

5 Was she the mother of the Laodice of the coins of 
Eucratides ? See Appendix II. , p. 152. 


gallant prince who had caught the attention of the 
Seleucid whilst conducting negotiations on behalf of 
his father in the Syrian camp. Euthydemus may 
have urged on Antiochus the propriety of recovering 
that old appanage of Bactria, the satrapy of Paropa- 
misus. The strategic value of the kingdom of Kabul 
was beyond question ; it had been recognized by 
Alexander, who had placed it in the hands of 
Oxyartes, who, as we have already seen, probably 
continued to administer it till, by the weakness or 
negligence of Seleucus Nicator, it passed back to the 
hands of Chandragupta Maurya. It was probably in 
this domain that Antiochus found the Indian prince- 
ling Sophagasenas or Subhagasena reigning ; who the 
latter was is quite uncertain. It was conjectured at 
one time that the name Subhagasena is a title of 
Jalauka, a son of the great Asoka, who had died in 
231 b.c. ; l but Jalauka himself is a misty personality, 
of whom we know little besides the vague, though 
voluminous, stories of Kashmir tradition. 2 Euthy- 
demus, on behalf of whom the expedition was mainly 
undertaken, was under the obligation by the terms 
of the treaty to provide the means for its accom- 
plishment. For a third time (the last for many 
centuries) the tramp of armies from the far west 
was heard down the long winding defiles of the 
historic Khyber. 

But the expedition does not appear to have been 
carried out with the thoroughness which Euthydemus 

1 First suggested by Lassen, Indische Alter thumskunde, I 

2 Vide Smith, Early History of India, pp. 171 and 197, 198. 


would have liked. It was little more than a demon- 
stration in force. Subhagasena appears to have 
yielded very easily, and consented to the payment 
of a considerable indemnity and the surrender of 
elephants. Antiochus had already been overlong 
absent from Syria, and he hastened home by the 
Kandahar road, through Arachosia and Carmania. 
Androsthenes of Cyzicus was left behind to receive 
the sum owing to the Syrian coffers, and to follow 
with it later. 1 

Euthydemus figures on several fine coins which 
have been recovered ; he appears on them as a man 
in the prime of life, with a heavy stern face. 2 The 
wide area over which his coins are found points to a 
considerable extension of the Bactrian domains. An 
attempt was probably made in his life-time to annex 
those territories which had been ceded to Chandra- 
gupta by Seleucus Nicator, and with the break-up of 
the Maurya kingdom on the death of Asoka this was 
quite feasible. Doubtless Demetrius took a prominent 
part in leading his father's armies, and he may have 
been associated with him in ruling in the now exten- 
sive dominions of Bactria, though it is probably a 
mistake to attribute the Indian expedition and the 
foundation of Euthydemia to this reign. It is, of 
course, unsafe to draw inferences too certainly from 
coins, but the coins of Euthydemus 3 have been dis- 

1 ? Circa 206 B.C. 

2 See the illustration, Gardner, Plate II. 

3 On the obverse we find either a horse (appropriate in the 
case of the Bactrian Zari-aspa, the " City of the Horse ") or the 
figure of Hercules. 


covered, not only in Bactria and Sogdiana, 1 but in 
Paropamisus (which may have been put under the 
suzerainty of Bactria by Antiochus), Arachosia, 
Drangiana, Margiana, and Aria. 2 

Euthydemus may well have looked back upon 
his career with pride. By sheer ability he had vindi- 
cated his right to the crown he had so violently 
wrested away. The ablest of the Seleucids had come 
to punish him as a revolting vassal ; before he left, 
the Bactrian, by his dogged valour, had won that 
monarch's respect and friendship. He was lord of 
a great, fertile, and important realm; his son had 
already shown promise as a warrior and statesman ; 
and the latter' s wedding with a princess of the 
proudest of the Hellenic families, whose royal ances- 
tor, the great " Seleucus the Conqueror," second only 
to Alexander himself, claimed the God Apollo as his 
father, 3 was a guarantee of lasting peace and friend- 
ship with Syria. The hated Parthians were paralyzed 
for the time by their rival's success, and Bactria 
must have been growing rich in her position at the 
confluence of the world's trade routes. Ever since 
the day when, according to the oft-repeated story, 
Bindusara sent to request a " supply of wine and a 
sophist" from his Syrian contemporary, and Chan- 
dragupta sent presents of drugs to his father-in- 

1 Does this indicate that the Sacse were kept well in hand in 
this reign ? 

2 " Apollodorus of Artemita says the Greeks (of Bactria) con- 
quered Ariana." If they did, it was probably in this reign or 
the next (Geog n XL xi. 1). 

3 Laodice said that Apollo was really the father of her son. 
See Justin, XV. 4 q.v. 


law, 1 the growth of luxury in the Greek world, and 
the establishment of new cities of the type of Alex- 
andria, must have created a great demand for Indian 
goods. A further proof of the close ties binding 
India and the West is found in the fact that, twice at 
least, Greek ambassadors were in residence at the 
court of the Mauryas, Megasthenes at the court of 
Chandragupta, and Deimachus at that of Bindusara. 2 
Frequent as must have been the caravans from 
Kabul to Bactria, others doubtless arrived from 
the distant Seres of the north-east, for the then 
novel commodity of silk was in great demand in 
the luxurious towns of the new and cosmopolitan 
Hellenic age, of which Alexandria is so typical. 
The forum of Bactria must have resembled that of 
Sagala in Menander's days, when traders of every 
creed and tongue crowded the bazaars, and the 
innumerable shops were loaded with the most 
heterogeneous articles — muslin and silk, sweetstuffs, 
spices, drugs, metal work in brass and silver, and 
jewels of all kinds. 3 Small wonder that Euthydemus 
is regarded as the founder of Bactria. Only one 
storm-cloud marred the otherwise shining prospect, 
and that was as yet low down on the distant horizon. 
The barbarians beyond the Jaxartes were still moving 
uneasily. 4 About the year 190 b.c. the long and 

1 Muller, Frag. Hist. Grcec.^ i. 344, and iv. 421. 

2 Strabo, II. 1, 9. 

3 Milinda-Panha, Sacred Books of the East, XXXV. 3. Iron 
of a superior quality was also an important item in commerce 
with the Seres. 

4 If we are to believe the Chinese authorities, the first actual 
occupation of Sogdiana must have been as early as the reign of 


eventful reign of Euthydemus came to an end, and 
the kingdom passed to a worthy successor in 
DemetHus. 1 Whether Demetrius had already begun 
his eastern conquests we do not know, but at some 
period of his reign Bactria reached the climax of her 
prosperity. The ancient citadel of the Iranians was 
the capital of a mighty Empire, as the words of 
Strabo testify : " The Greeks who occasioned the 
revolt (i.e., Euthydemus and his family), owing to 
the fertility and advantages of Bactria, became 
masters of Ariana and India. . . . These conquests 
were achieved partly by Menander and partly by 
Demetrius, son of Euthydemus. . . . They overran 
not only Pattalene, but the kingdoms of Saraostos 
and Sigerdis, which constitute the remainder of the 
coast. 2 . . . They extended their empire as far as 
the Seres and Phrynoi." Their object, obviously, was 
to reach the sea for trading purposes ; a similar 
object led them to secure the highroad into China. 

The evidence of the coins of Euthydemus (vide 
ante) seems to point to the occupation of Aria by 
that king. 3 Conquests east of Kabul, on the other 

1 190 B.C. was also the year of the great defeat of Antiochus 
by the Eomans. Perhaps this fresh disaster to the already 
harassed Syrian power encouraged Euthydemus and Demetrius 
to use their opportunity for invading India. 

2 Geog., XI. xi. 1 : ArjiifjTpios 6 Evdvdrjfxov vlos rod BaKTplcov 
/3ao-fc\ea)s* ov p.6vov t)e rrjv HaTTaXrjvrjV Kario'xev dXka kcu rrjs 
aXkrjs 7rapa\las tt)v re TccrcrapiocrTOv (?) KaXovjJLevrjv kcu tyjv 
2iyipTtdos ftacrtkeiav, etc. 

3 Demetrius in Anarchosia. Vide Isidorus Characensis, 19, in 
Muller, Frag. Georg. Grcec. Mm., vol. i., 1855. When was this 
town founded ? In the reign of Demetrius, or in that of his father ? 
Probably Aria and Anarchosia were subdued simultaneously. 


hand, appear from Strabo's words to have been the 
work of Demetrius, probably after his father's death, 
though this is not certain. Strabo speaks very 
vaguely of the extent of the dominions of Demetrius. 
By Pattalene he appears to mean the kingdom of 
Sind, the country which was first taken from 
Musicanus by Alexander the Great. On the west 
of the Indus, all the country from the Cophen to the 
mountains appears to have thus belonged to Bactria ; 
east of the Indus, after the annexation of the king- 
dom of the Delta (Pattalene), it was not a great step 
to proceed to subdue the neighbouring kingdom of 
Kathiawar or Surashtra (the Greek Saraostos). What 
quite is indicated by the " kingdom of Sigerdis " 
it appears to be impossible to determine. It may 
have been some minute " kingdom " (i.e., the domain 
of some petty raja) between Pattala and Surashtra. 

Besides these kingdoms on the coast, we have 
evidence to confirm the opinion that a consider- 
able portion of the Pan jab fell into the hands of 
Demetrius as well. It is usual to ascribe to him the 
foundation of the town of Euthydemia, which he 
named after his father, according to a not uncommon 
practice. Euthydemia became the capital of the 
Bactrian kingdom east of the Indus, and under its 
Indian name, Sagala, grew to be a flourishing city 
of great wealth and magnitude. The question of the 
identity of Sagala (or Sakala) is a matter of dispute. 1 

1 2dya\a rj kol EvOvfi-qdla, says Ptolemy. See McCrindle's 
learned note (Ancient India, p. 37). He places it in the Pandya 
country, west of the Hydraotes, about sixty miles from Lahore. 
There also appears to have been a town called Demetria in 
Sind (p. 158). 


It is now held that it is not to be confused with the 
"Sangala" razed to the ground by Alexander; and 
modern authorities identify it with either Shorkot, 
near the modern Jhang, not far from the confluence 
of the Acesines and Hydraotes, or Sialkot, further 
north, near Lahore, and not far from the head waters 
of the Acesines. 1 Later on we shall see that 
Menander was born "near Alexandria," " 200 leagues 
from Sagala," and this would certainly point to 
Sialkot rather than Shorkot, if " Alexandria " is the 
town at the "junction of the Acesines and Indus" 
mentioned by Arrian (Anab., VI. 5). It is difficult 
to believe that the Bactrians had any permanent 
hold on the country up to the Chinese borderland. 2 
Perhaps all that Strabo means is that all the territory 
up to the great emporium on the extreme west of 
Serike — i.e., Tashkurghan in Sarikol, was under 
Bactrian influence, and, perhaps for commercial 
reasons, was protected by their troops from the raids 
of Sakas and other nomadic marauders. 

The coins of Demetrius illustrate the history of 
his reign in an interesting manner. Like his father, 
he seems to have adopted the god Hercules as his 
patron deity, and Hercules figures upon the coins of 
Euthydemus and Demetrius, 3 very much as the 
thundering Zeus figures on those of the Diodoti, or 
the Dioscuri on the coinage of Demetrius's antagonist 
and successor, the pro-Syrian Eucratides. These 

1 Smith, Early History of India, p. 68, note. 

2 See Stein, Sand-buried Cities of Khotan, p. 72. 

3 Vide Gardner, Catalogue of Coins of Greek and Scythian 
Kings, etc., Plate II. 9 and III. 3 ; vide note 17 ante. 


coins were doubtless issued for circulation in Bactria 
proper, like the famous and striking specimen which 
Gardner reproduces, 1 on which a figure, almost cer- 
tainly to be identified as the Bactrian Anahid, appears, 
clad as she is described in the Zend-Avesta. 

For use in his domains beyond the Paropamisus, 
Demetrius issued a series of coins of a more suitable 
character, remarkable alike for their workmanship 
and as representing the earliest attempt at that 
amalgamation of Greek technique and Indian form, 
which is one of the most striking features of the 
coinage of the Indo-Bactrian dynasties. 2 To this 
series we may safely assign the silver coins which 
represent the King as an Indian raja, wearing an 
elephant helmet, and those bearing an elephant's 
head; these coins are, it must be observed, purely 
Greek in standard and pattern, and are probably 
earlier than the series of square coins, where an 
attempt at compromise between Greek and Indian 
methods first appears. 3 

It seems probable that Demetrius divided his 
Indian possessions into minor principalities for greater 
convenience of government. A system of satrapies, or 
small feudal states, appears to have been the only 
form of administration found possible by the invaders 
of India, whether Scythian, Parthian, or Greek. It 
was, indeed, the form of government most adapted to 
the eastern temperament. From time to time the 

1 Catalogue, III. 1. 2 Ibid.. II. 9 and III. 3. 

3 Illustrated by E. J. Kapson in the Grundriss, i. 10; 
Gardner, XXX. 3. The inscription is still Greek, but a 
Kharoshthi inscription appears on the reverse. Notice the 
gradual de-Hellenization, well illustrated by the coinage. 


influence of some master mind had consolidated a 
great empire in India ; but the bonds had always been 
purely artificial, liable to dissolution on the appearance 
of a weak or incapable ruler. It had become apparent 
on the death of Asoka how little even the great 
Mauryas had succeeded in introducing elements of 
cohesion into their vast and heterogeneous realms. 

The small satrapy appears to have been the natural 
political unit in India, as the city state was in Greece. 
However, Demetrius did not arrive at a satisfactory 
solution of the problem of simultaneously governing 
two distant and diverse kingdoms. Perhaps his con- 
tinued absence in India aroused the jealousy of the 
Graeco-Iranian kingdom in the north; it may be 
that the inhabitants of Bactria looked upon Sagala 
with jealous eyes, as a new and alien capital ; at any 
rate, the absence of Demetrius gave ample oppor- 
tunity for a rival to establish himself securely in 
Bactria before the arrival of troops from the far 
south to overthrow him. 

The rival who did this was one Eucratides. Who 
he was, or what may have been his motive, we can 
only infer from his coins in a somewhat conjectural 
fashion ; one thing, however, seems more or less 
plain, that he was connected in some way to the 
royal house of Seleucus. In his sympathies, and 
probably by birth, he is distinctly closely bound up 
with the reigning dynasty in Syria. 

Justin implies that he seized the throne about the 
time of the accession of Mithradates I. in Parthia — 
i.e., about 174 b.c, or a little earlier. We may sup- 
pose that Demetrius was engaged in his Indian con- 


quests and the administrative and other problems 
they entailed, and either had no leisure to attend to 
what was happening in Bactria, or did not feel him- 
self strong enough to march against so powerful a 
rival until his power in the south was sufficiently 
consolidated. Meanwhile Eucratides w T as pursuing 
a vigorous policy in the north, not always with the 
success he deserved. Enemies were springing up in 
all directions to menace Bactria, and Eucratides had 
to vindicate his right to the throne he had claimed. 1 
The first and most formidable rival was Mithradates I. 
Mithradates appears to have succeeded with the 
special mission of counteracting Bactrian influence, 
for Phraates, his brother, had left the throne to him 
in preference to his numerous sons, as the ablest 
successor, and one most likely to continue the great 
mission of extending Parthian dominion in the east, 
the progress of which had been thwarted since 206 
B.C., when Antiochus the Great had raised her rival 
to the position of ally and equal. The continual 
threats of aggression from the Parthians, the ever- 
increasing pressure on the frontier, which caused 
various wars (perhaps not of great magnitude, but 
harassing, as a foretaste of what was to come) on the 
Sogdian frontier, and a campaign — against whom 
we are not informed — in Drangiana, made the life 
of Eucratides anything but peaceful. The struggle 
with the monarch he had dispossessed, moreover, 

1 Perhaps Demetrius had left Eucratides in charge of Bactria 
as Kegent. Someone must have been so left ; and this would 
account for the latter's accumulation of power, his command 
in frontier wars, etc. 


was coming, and Eucratides went to meet it with 
great spirit. At one time the fortunes of war seemed 
to have definitely turned against him; by a final 
effort Demetrius, with the huge force of 60,000 men, 
caught and besieged his rival, whose army by some 
means had sunk to only 300 men. By a mar- 
vellous combination of skill and good - fortune, 
Eucratides cut his way out after a siege, which (if 
we are to believe the only authority upon the inci- 
dent) x lasted five months, and this proved to be the 
turning-point in the war. Soon after the Indian 
dominions of Demetrius fell into the hands of 
Eucratides, and the once powerful Demetrius either 
perished or was deposed about the year 160 b.c 

If, as is just possible, Eucratides was really the 
grandson of his royal opponent, 2 the great disparity 
between their ages would account for the ease with 
which that once doughty leader allowed himself to 
be defeated by a handful of desperate men, whom 
he had conquered with a vastly superior force; it 
would also save the historian from the necessity of 
condemning Justin's whole account of these incidents 
as exaggerated and inaccurate — always a pre-emi- 
nently unscientific proceeding in the case of an uncon- 
troverted statement. The victory over Demetrius 
is probably commemorated in the fine coins repro- 

1 Justin (XLI. 6) tells the story : " Though much reduced by 
losses (in frontier wars), Eucratides, when besieged by Deme- 
trius, King of India, with a garrison of 300 men only, kept at 
bay a blockading force of 60,000 of the enemy by continual 
sorties. Finally, after a five months' siege, he escaped." 

2 See Appendix II., p. 153. 



duced by Gardner, 1 which represent, in a most 
spirited fashion, " the great twin brethren," with 
their lances at the charge, waving the palms of 
victory. These were evidently struck for use in 
Bactria ; for use in the provinces beyond the Hindu- 
Kush very probably he struck a series of coins, 2 where 
the blending of Greek and Indian art is illustrated in 
a curious manner, bearing the goddess Nike, holding 
a wreath on the obverse, and a Pali inscription on 
the reverse, in Kharoshthi 3 characters. The coins are 
bronze and square, this being another instance in 
which the Indian shape replaces the Greek circular 

It is extremely interesting to notice the manner 
in which the Greek temperament adapts itself to 
changed conditions. Eucratides gives himself the 
title of " Maharaja'' 4 (which he translates by the 

1 Vide Catalogue, Plate V. 6-9. 

2 Ibid., Plate VI. 6 and 7. 

3 Kharoshthi was the script, probably of Aramaic origin, in 
use during our period on the west and north-west frontier — Paro- 
pamisuSj Kapisa, and the Panjab. From here it spread, with 
the Buddhist religion, to Khotan, as is shown by the Karosthi 
MSS. brought from that country by Sir Aurel Stein. Brahmi, 
on the other hand, is the original of the Devanagri, used, in one 
form or another, in all the modern Prakrit vernaculars. As 
most Bactrian coins were minted on the western border, only 
a few (issued by Pantaleon and Agathocles) bear Brahmi 
inscriptions. Demetrius, one of the greatest of the Bactrian 
coiners, was the first to adopt the significant practice of striking 
bilingual coins. 

4 Baja seems equivalent to Chhatrapa (satrap), merely, the 
one being used by the native Indian or Bactrio-Indian petty 
rulers, the latter, apparently, by the feudatories of Parthia. 
To render BA2IAEYS "Maharaja" is required. The MErAS 


Greek MErAAOT BA2IAEX22) in his Indian 
domains; in Bactria, however, he appears as the 
leader of the Greek, as opposed to the Iranian section 
of the populace. By birth and leanings it seems 
evident that Eucratides was thoroughly Greek. His 
coins betray his pride of birth ; the distinctive figure 
on nearly all his Bactrian issues is a representation 
of the Dioscuri, mounted ; they were the patron saints 
of the Seleucids, and under the rule of the " son of 
Laodice," took the same place on his coinage as 
Zeus, the thunder-god, did on the coins of the 
Diodoti. One of the most striking features of Bactria 
is the utter predominance of everything Greek in its 
history. The coins are essentially Greek, the rulers 
are certainly so. The Iranian population never seems 
to have had any voice at all in the government, 
though we must remember that Greek was the 
language of commerce and civilization in Western 
Asia, and we are apt to be easily misled by the fact 
that Greek names, coinage, and language were exclu- 
sively used. In Parthia, for instance, we know that 
national feeling was utterly anti-Hellenic, and yet 
Greek appears to have been the language generally 
used for commercial and public purposes. Perhaps 
it was his partiality for Greek customs and his pride 
in his Seleucid blood that brought about the downfall 
of Eucratides. 

BA2IAEY2 of some of the coins is an attempt at a " literal " 
translation of " Maharaja." Chhatrapa was a title probably 
introduced into India from the Parthians. Some critics have 
(wrongly, I think) seen in this word traces of Persian influence 
on Indian political development (see Chapter VIII.). a-aTpanr^s 
t&v o-aTpcurav first appears on the coins of Mithradates I. 


While returning from India, Justin tells us, he 
was murdered by his own son, who had shared the 
throne with him, and who, far from concealing the 
murder, declared that he had killed " not a parent, 
but a public enemy," and brutally drove his chariot 
through the dead monarch's blood, and ordered his 
body to be cast out unburied (circa 156 B.C.). Thus 
perished one of the most remarkable of the many 
really great, though obscure, monarchs of the Bactrian 
Empire. A splendid coin, figured by Gardner in his 
catalogue, 1 enables us to form a very good idea of 
the appearance of the king — a proud, determined man, 
wearing the Kausia, 2 diademed with crest, and the 
bull's horn at the side. On the reverse, significantly, 
are figured the Dioscuri, charging with long lances 
and waving the palms of victory. The delineation 
of the steeds is worthy of the highest traditions of 
Greek Art. The title of * the Great ' appears on the 
name of the parricide who thus foully deprived his 
father of his life and throne is not recorded. Some 
authorities have identified him with Heliocles, 4 who 

1 Gardner, Plate V. 7. 

2 See p. 102, n. 

* Another coin of this reign is the magnificent twenty -stater 
gold pie'ce, at present in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris. 
It was, as far as we know, by far the largest gold coin struck in 
antiquity (Alexander issued two-stater pieces), and is in every 
way unique. It fittingly marks the high- water mark of Bactrian 
prosperity under Eucratides ; after this reign it gradually 
decayed. After the reign of Eucratides only silver and copper 
coins were struck, as far as we know. 

* Tarn, " Hellenism in Bactria," J.H.S., 1902, p. 272. 


is supposed by them to have headed a native reaction, 
fomented either by his father's Hellenizing tendencies, 
or by His inactive policy against Mithridates. Mithra- 
dates, we know, took the satrapies of " Aspionus and 
Turiva " 1 from Eucratides, and it is possible that this 
caused dissatisfaction at the policy of the Bactrian 
monarch. There is, however, some reason to suppose 
that the parricide's name was Apollodotus, 2 who may 
have been led by the supposed patriotic character of his 
deed to assume the titles of 2I2THP, NIKH<£OP02, 
and MErA^, 3 which we find on his coins. It is 
supposed that Heliocles avenged his father's murder 
and secured the throne, probably putting his brother 
to death; some have thought that this is indicated 
by the title " AIKAIO^," which appears on his coins. 
It is probable, however, that the title of the " Just" 
is of Buddhist origin, but this point may be more 
appropriately discussed later on. 

Apollodotus seems to have enjoyed a very brief 
reign, and Heliocles probably succeeded in 156 b.c. 
With him the rule of the Greeks in Bactria comes to 
an end ; the Bactrian princes were forced to transfer 

1 Strabo, Geog. 9 XL ii. 3. Nothing more is known of them. 
The names are Iranian. Lassen thinks they are Turan and the 

2 Cunningham, Num. Chron., 1869, p. 241, etc. See, how- 
ever, J.B.A.S., 1905, p. 783. If Apollodotus succeeded Eucra- 
tides, why does Eucratides restrike his coins, as he is shown to 
do by Gardner, B.M. Gat., p. xxxv? On the other hand, 
Apollodotus is closely connected with Menander. See p. 112. 

3 It has been pointed out that the titles S&rrjp, NiK^opos, 
'Avlkt)tos, and the like, point to the continual wars against the 
nomads, Indians, or their Greek rivals, which drained the 
resources of the Bactrio-Hellenic princes. 


their empire to their capital beyond the Hindu-Kush. 
The murder of Eucratides was worse than a crime — 
it was a blunder. The death of the one man capable 
of saving the situation rendered resistance useless, 
and the country was still further enfeebled by the rise 
of a number of princelings or satraps, who were 
necessary for the government, as we have seen, of 
the immensely increased Bactrian territory, but who 
were always inclined, on the removal of a strong 
hand, to assert their independence. The semi-inde- 
pendent character of these petty rajas 1 is shown by 
the style of the inscriptions upon their coins. 


Justin and Strabo, among ancient writers, are of the most 
importance. The works of Messrs. E. E. Be van and Vincent 
Smith are the principal modern authorities. The writers on 
numismatics are, of course, invaluable, as much of Bactrian 
history is "deduced" from coins, which eke out our otherwise 
scanty information. For a further discussion of the coins of 
Eucratides see Appendix II. 

1 There are nearly thirty of them. See the lists, pp. 151, 152. 



Since the days when Alexander made his demonstra- 
tion in force north of the Jaxartes, and the town of 
Furthest Alexandria, built on the uttermost limit of 
the Greek world, was erected as a frontier fort to keep 
watch and ward over the barbarians of the outer 
waste, there had been a feeling of vague unrest 
among the Greeks in the Far East regarding the 
likelihood of trouble from the mysterious hordes of 
the northern steppes. 

No one knew their extent or power, which made 
them all the more formidable. Perhaps memories of 
the terrible Cimmerians of the old days had become 
a kind of tradition in men's minds, for at all periods 
of the history of the ancient world we seem to detect 
a feeling of latent anxiety, a prescience of what was to 
come, with regard to the vast tribes of " barbarians" 
who from time to time burst like a sudden cyclonic 
wave on the barriers of civilization — feared, because 
their numbers, power, and resources were only known 
through vague report and extravagant rumour. The 
very fact that the Parthians, once an obscure nomadic 
tribe, pasturing their herds on the grassy slopes 
between the Oxus and the Ochus, had suddenly thrust 



into the heart of the Greek world a great anti-Hellenic 
empire, proud of its antagonism to Greek ideas, and 
aggressively eager to dispute with all comers its right 
to the position of ruling state in Asiatic Greece, was a 
warning of what the barbarians might do, and of the 
risk of despising him. 1 

Bactria was destined to be overwhelmed by the 
operation of the same irresistible force which finally 
swept the civilization of the ancient world utterly 
away. Obscure hordes on the Mongolian plains, far 
beyond the ken of Hellenic observation, were slowly 
but surely pressing south, and the impetus was finally 
being transmitted to the tribes on the fringe of Hellenic 
civilization, till at last, by sheer physical pressure, 
they were driven over the border, sweeping all before 
them with the force of an avalanche. 

Signs of trouble on the northern border had been 
observed by Euthydemus, and Antiochus the Great 
had had the wisdom to see the danger of weakening 
Bactria. Other causes, however, had been at work to 
drain Bactria of her resources : the constant antagon- 
ism of Parthia, and the brilliant but expensive con- 
quests of Demetrius in India, till at last the Bactrian 
Greeks were literally " drained of their life-blood," as 
Justin graphically says, 2 " and a comparatively easy 
prey." Indeed, one of the most striking features of 

1 In Chapter I. I have tried to point out the likelihood of 
a Saccean Helot population in Bactria — an aboriginal sub- 
stratum, whose existence points to the constant tendency of the 
northern tribes to move southwards and westwards, which had 
begun before the coming of the Iranians. 

2 Exsangues, XLI. 6. 


Bactrian history is the wonderful persistence of the 
Greek element. No Iranian ruled in Bactria after 
the accession of Diodotus, and the Greek kings, if we 
may judge by their coins, were proud of their Hellenic 
blood, and kept up the best traditions of their national 
art. Even in the Southern Kingdom there appears at 
first little evidence that the new-comers were likely to 
be absorbed into their Indian environment ; on the 
contrary, few things are more remarkable than the 
manner in which the Greek spirit adapts itself to 
altered circumstances, and blossoms out into a new 
life, infusing something of the " diviner air" of the 
old masters into the coins of Menander and his con- 
temporaries, or, later, into the friezes of the Buddhist 
sculptures of Gandhara. 

In the troubled times which followed the death of 
Eucratides events occurred which must have finally 
wrecked any chance Bactria had of offering any 
effectual resistance to the impending invasion of the 
Sacse. Heliocles, as we have seen, succeeded Eucra- 
tides. We know very little of him except that his 
coins invariably bear the inscription AIKA10S. It 
was formerly held that he murdered his father and 
took this title to assert the justice of slaying a king 
whom a section of his subjects appear to have re- 
garded as a public enemy. It is more probable, 
however, that Heliocles was his father's avenger, and 
on that ground assumed the title of the " Just/' 
though the title may merely be a translation of the 
Buddhist dhdrmikasa, if, indeed, Heliocles was in- 
fluenced by the spread of Buddhism to the extent to 
which most of his successors appear to have been. 


Mithradates, as we have noticed already, had in- 
augurated the aggressive policy against Bactria, for 
which he had received his crown in the reign of 
Eucratides, with some success. If, as it has been 
asserted, Eucratides lost his life owing to his inability 
to resist Parthian aggression, his successors were not 
less deserving of a similar fate. 1 Mithradates con- 
tinued to advance, and he appears to have actually 
held Bactria for a time as a sort of vassalage. If we 
can trust references in Orosius and Diodorus, he even 
attacked the Southern Kingdom, and penetrated to 
Euthydemia itself. We may fairly safely infer, how- 
ever, from the silence of Justin, and also from the 
fact that no Parthian coins are found over the Paro- 
pamisus, that the occupation was not of a very lasting 
character, and may indeed have only been a demon- 
stration in force, like the expedition of Antiochus III. 
against Subhagasena. 2 Perhaps we may find an echo 
of these obscure and almost unrecorded campaigns in 
a Parthian coin which is still extant in the British 
Museum collection. 3 It represents a standing figure of 
Hercules, and appears to have been imitated from the 
coins of Euthydemus II. and Demetrius of Bactria. 4 

Fortune, however, appears to have intervened on 
this occasion on behalf of Bactria. Demetrius II. of 
Syria had not quite forgotten the claims which Bactria 

1 Perhaps the murder of Eucratides, caused by popular 
indignation at his "pro-Parthian" policy, was a kind of chal- 
lenge to Mithradates, which he was not slow to accept. 

2 He appears to have subdued the Saka Princes of Taxila, the 
kingdom between the Indus and Hydaspes. 

3 Catalogued by Warwick Wroth, Plate III. 7. 

4 Gardner, Catalogue, II. 9 and III. 3. 


had on the Seleucid house — claims arising from the 
treaty of Antiochus, and the ties of marriage uniting 
the two royal families. Between the years 142 — 136 
b.c, he advanced against Parthia, intent on another 
of the many spasmodic efforts of the Syrian kings to 
check the growth of their powerful rivals. His army 
on the march was greatly strengthened by reinforce- 
ments from Persia, Elymais and Bactria, and routed 
the Parthians in a succession of battles. 1 The Par- 
thians, however, maintained the struggle with their 
usual persistency, and finally achieved by stratagem 
what they were unable to effect by force. Demetrius 
was enticed to his enemy's camp by pretended over- 
tures and entrapped. He was publicly paraded as a 
warning to the cities which had joined his standard of 
the futility of reliance upon Syria. 

In the year 136 b.c. Mithradates I. died. He was 
succeeded by Phraates II., and it was during his reign 
that the great Saka invasion took place, which 
swept over Bactria with such amazing suddenness 
and completeness. The movements which led to the 
great irruption have been worked out with tolerable 
completeness, chiefly by reference to Chinese authori- 
ties; however, it is not proposed here to enter into 
minute discussions upon the obscure movements of 
the various tribes, with the many historical difficulties 
they involve, as the subject is scarcely relevant to the 
student of the fortunes of Bactria, and only interests 
us in so far as Bactria is directly concerned. What 
happened appears to have been as follows : 

About the year 165 b.c. the great tribe of the 
1 Justin, XXVIII. i. 3, 4. 


Yuehchi were driven out of their pastures in North- 
West China by a rival horde, and, moving in a south- 
westerly direction, came into contact with the con- 
glomerate bands of Scythians, whom the Greeks knew 
by the vague general name of Sacee, who may be 
identified pretty certainly with the Saka of the Indian 
writers, and the Su, Sai, Se, Sek, or Sok, of the Chinese 
Annalists. The Sacse appear to have already settled 
to some extent south of the Jaxartes ; we know noth- 
ing for certain about the state of Sogdiana under the 
Bactrian kings, but probably, with the extension of 
the empire in the south, the Greek hold on the 
province north of the Oxus became more and more 
nominal, till it was finally no longer asserted at all. 1 

About the year 136 B.C., after the death of Mithra- 
dates, the results of this pressure upon the Bactrians 
and Parthians began to be seriously felt. The first 
omen of the approaching trouble proceeded from a body 
of SacsB who had enlisted as mercenaries in the army 
of Phraates, probably because they had been driven 
out of their old pasture-lands and had no other occupa- 
tion. They arrived too late to assist in the war for which 
they were hired, and, being discontented at the treat- 
ment they received, began to plunder the country. 
Phraates, who appears to have been incapable and 
unpopular, fell in trying to put them down, chiefly 
owing to the treachery of his Greek forces, who were 
exasperated by his cruelty. 2 

The Parthians now reverted to the original royal line 

1 See the passage (&), Appendix V., p. 163, " Bactriani . . . 
Sogdianorum bellis fatigati," etc. 

2 Justin, XLIL 1, 2. 


for a successor to the throne, whom they found in 
another brother of the elder Phraates, Artabanus, uncle 
of the kst king. Artabanus appears to have followed 
these plunderers up ; but in a campaign against the 
Thogarii, says Justin, he was wounded in the arm and 
died at once — possibly because the weapon was 
poisoned. One is strongly tempted to identify these 
" Thogarii" with the " Tochari," who, together with 
the " Asii, Pasiani, and Sacarauli," 1 are mentioned by 
Strabo as being the best known of the Sacaean tribes 
who crossed the Jaxartes and invaded Bactria. The 
Tochari appear to have established themselves on a 
more or less permanent footing in Sogdiana, and so 
would naturally be the chief opponents of the Parthians. 
The Sacae appear to have exacted tribute in a most 
extortionate manner from the people bordering on the 
country they had overrun, forcing them to pay a certain 
sum of money on condition that their lands should 
only be overrun and plundered at certain seasons. 2 

To Heliocles belongs the melancholy distinction of 
being the last king of Northern Bactria. The Bactrians 
were, indeed, little in a fit state to cope with the situation. 
Their life-blood had been drained by the Indian schemes 
of preceding kings, and the consequent withdrawal of 
the more able and adventurous among them to seek a 
more extended career in the new addition to the 
empire ; and, as in the case of every nation which has 
tried to conquer the East without taking the utmost 
precaution to preserve the integrity of their race from 

1 Geog. f XI. 8, 2. Von Gutschmid thinks all these names 
attempt to render " Yuei-Chi " in Greek 

2 Strabo, Geog., XI. viii. 3. 


intermixing with the subject stock, the East was 
gradually absorbing them into itself. As we have 
already observed, the coins begin to show that Greek 
standards of thought and manners were gradually be- 
coming less and less carefully adhered to ; and an 
account of the state of Bactria, presumably shortly 
after the invasion of the Sacse, confirms the view that 
Bactria had little that was Greek left in it at the time 
of its final overthrow. From the annals of Chang- 
Kien 1 we learn that the Ta-Hia, or Bactrians, were very 
like the other tribes between Ferghana and An-Si 
(Parthia). These people all spoke various dialects, but 
all understood one another; they were agricultural, 
treated their wives with an exaggerated respect, and 
allowed them great liberty, and were all distinguished 
by deep-set eyes and thick beards. They were bad and 
cowardly soldiers, and only fond of trade. 2 The de- 
scription of the Bactrians here given by one who was 
evidently a close and accurate observer shows fairly 
conclusively to what extent the process of absorption 
had been going on, and explains what would be other- 
wise difficult to comprehend — the reason why Bactria 
succumbed without a struggle worth recording to the 
incoming flood of invasion. Two brief references are 

1 Envoy from the Chinese Court to the Yueh-Chi. He 
returned, after various adventures, in 126 B.C. 

2 Von Gutschmid says it is " remarkable that Chang notices 
no difference between the Greeks and their Iranian subjects." 
The explanation is simple : there were no pure Greeks left. Some 
remains of the old Aryan (Iranian, not Greek) population may 
still be traced in the language of the non-Tartar people dwelling 
round Balkh (Kawlinson, Herodotus, App., Book VII., Essay 1, 
p. 207 ; M. Miiller, Languages of the Seat of War, p. 33). 


all that western historians have deigned to devote to 
the subject, and the inference is that the once famous 
"City of the Horse" surrendered tamely enough to 
the advance of a foe so long threatened that it had 
lost the terror of novelty. Heliocles and such families 
as had enough Greek instinct to refuse to dwell under 
the rule of the illiterate barbarians probably retired 
before the enemy's advance to their friends on the 
other side of the Paropamisus. It was far different in 
the case of the once weaker Parthia, which was able, 
not only to repair the losses suffered from the Scythian 
attack, but finally to retake part of the old Bactrian 
territory ; 1 so that the poet Horace — with some inac- 
curacy, it is true, can write 

11 Begnata Parthis Bactra" 

in an ode which must have been published about the 
year 25 b.c. 

The barbarian invasion, then, may be said to have 
branched off into two distinct channels. The motive 
force was provided by the advance of the Yueh-Chi ; 
and this great movement, which ended by the Yueh-Chi 
occupying the old kingdom of Bactria, forced another 
great portion of the Sacse — the Sakas proper, possibly 
the Sok or Sse of our Chinese authorities, and the 
Saca-rauli of Strabo — to seek "pastures new" still 
farther from the borders of their restless and powerful 
kinsmen. This no doubt caused the Saka irruption 

1 I have not thought it necessary to discuss Bayer's theory 
that the Greeks were driven out of Bactria by Parthia. He 
misunderstands Strabo. Strabo tells us that Mithradates II. 
and his troops dcptiXovTo rrjs BaKTpiavrjs /xepoy, ftiao-dfxevoi, tovs 
^KvOas (XI. 9, 2). 


into India, though how and when the Saka princes 
found their way into the Pan jab is never likely to be 
definitely settled. It is usually supposed that they 
descended into the Ki-pin or Cashmere Valley, and 
from thence gradually spread over the Gandhara dis- 
trict, and finally settled in a series of petty principali- 
ties in the Panjab, such as the very flourishing states 
of Taxila and Mathura (the modern Muttra), on the 
Jumna, from which they displaced native rajahs. 
Others even reached the Peninsula of Surasthra, 
across the formidable Sind deserts, and, together with 
the Greek invaders already settled in the north-western 
corner of India, inaugurated a period which has left 
behind it some very remarkable traces, both in coinage 
and architectural remains. There was no contemporary 
historian to chronicle the brief careers and brilliant 
courts of the Eajas of Taxila or Sagala ; it remains for 
us to read the riddle, as far as may be, from the 
evidence which the ravages of time have spared for 
the ingenuity of the modern investigator. 

We have seen that Euthydemus hoped to manage 
his huge realm upon a kind of feudal plan, which had 
obtained from immemorial time in the East. Probably 
one of the earliest of the princes who reigned south of 
the Paropamisus was another Euthydemus, whom it is 
convenient to call Euthydemus II. He appears to have 
been a son of Demetrius, and named, according to the 
old Greek custom, after his grandfather. His reign, to 
judge by the paucity of coins, was short. It is probable 
that he was reigning in the Kabul Valley, while two 
other princes, Pantaleon and Agathocles, were holding 
small frontier kingdoms on the west bank of the Indus. 


It is curious to note that, while the coins of Euthy- 
demus II. indicate that he ruled over a people who 
had a good deal of Greek blood in their veins, those 
of his two contemporaries are much less Hellenic 
in character. These two princes issued some remark- 
able nickel coins, and also some square copper ones 
bearing inscriptions in the Brahmi, 1 instead of the 
usual Kharoshthi script. Their general similarity in 
these respects, and also the fact that both put the 
bust of Dionysius on their coins, make it seem highly 
probable that the two princes were closely related in 
some way. Pantaleon appears from his portraits to 
have been the older, and probably Agathocles suc- 
ceeded him. Pantaleon and Euthydemus were probably 
contemporaries, and date from some time fairly early 
in the reign of Demetrius, soon after that king had 
begun to attempt some definite settlement of his newly- 
acquired domains in the south. We shall probably not 
go far wrong in dating their accession at circa 190 B.C., 
and that of Agathocles at about five years later. 

With Agathocles we get numismatic evidence of a 
rather startling quality, in the shape of a magnificent 
series of medals which that monarch struck, apparently 
on his accession. Nothing is more remarkable than 
the manner in which the Greek spirit flashes out in all 
sorts of unexpected ways in sculptures and coins of 
these scanty Remnants of the great invasion, a couple 
of centuries after it had flowed over the Kabul and re- 

1 Brahmi script. See note in previous chapter. The Brahmi 
script was used in India proper, the Kharoshthi being confined to 
the u foreign " population of the western frontier, where it was 
probably introduced by Darius. Kharoshthi, unlike Brahmi, 
reads from right to left. 



ceded again. A petty Yavana Raj a, with little, probably, 
of the Greek blood he boasted in his veins, and perhaps 
but little acquaintance with the tongue of which he is 
so proud, can strike medals which have a Hellenic grace 
which would not shame the best traditions of Greek 
art, and which, with a curious pride of race, assert 
the striker's kinship with the heroic founders of the 
Bactrian kingdom, and the Seleucid monarch who was 
glad to be their friend and ally. The first of the series 1 
is that bearing the portrait of the great Alexander 
"Son of Philip" himself; then comes Diodotus, the 
founder of the Bactrian Empire, with the title ^HTHP, 
which appears on one of that monarch's own coins ; 
Euthydemus I. 2 with the title ®EOS — ancestor, no 
doubt, of the monarch ; and, lastly, Antiochus Nicator. 
The latter, it appears, must be none other than 
Antiochus III., whose daughter married Demetrius. 
Agathocles is proud of his descent from the royal line 
of Bactria. Would he not naturally be far prouder of 
his connection with the Seleucids, the family which, in 
spite of two centuries of blundering and misrule, still 
enjoyed a semi-divine reverence from their subjects, 
descended, as they claimed to be, from Apollo himself ? m 
Gardner and other authorities 3 hold that the very title 
Nicator is against the identification of Antiochus with 
Antiochus III., who assumes invariably on his extant 
coins the title of BA2IAET2 MErAS. However, 

1 Figured in Gardner's Catalogue, IV. 1-3. They trace this 
descent back to Philip of Macedon, doubtless to impress the 
subjects with their monarch's importance. 

2 Notice the royal fillets and title BA2IAEY2. 

3 Gardner's Catalogue, Introduction, pp. xxxviii, xxxix ; 
Babelon, Eois de Syrie, XLII. 


Gardner himself, quoting "from a passage of Malala," 1 
admits that the title appears to have been actually 
used by Antiochus III., and certainly he would appear 
most appropriately on Bactrian coins. These coins 
bear on the reverse the striding Zeus, already familiar 
to us as the crest of the Diodoti. Two curious coins 
throw some side-lights upon the policy and tendencies 
of the smaller Bactrian principalities. On a coin of 
Pantaleon appears a spirited representation of a nautch 
girl, wearing trousers, and depicted as dancing, with a 
flower in her hair. Whether this was an attempt to 
conciliate his Indian subjects, or to commemorate a 
court favourite, it is impossible for us to tell. 2 The vivid 
delineation of a typically eastern subject with some- 
thing of the grace of the Greek is another landmark in 
the history of the Hellenic race in one phase of their 
absorption into the country they had invaded. More 
remarkable in many respects is the purely Buddhist 
coin (IV. 10, Gardner) , where the Stupa or Dagaba, and 
the Buddhist Bail are delineated. 

There is no doubt that Buddhism took a strong 
hold on the invaders of India from the north-west — 
indeed, the Panjab and the Gandhara district appear 
to have become the centre of Buddhism in its palmiest 
days. Two of the most remarkable of the kings 
of that part of India, the Greek Menander and the 
Scythian Kaniska, were Buddhists, the latter ranking 

1 John of Malala, the Byzantine, i., p. 261. Why should 
Antiochus II. appear on Bactrian coins ? 

2 Agathocles issues the same type. Probably there is no 
personal reference in these types; they belong to different 
districts, of which they are the crest or symbol. See Eapson, 
Coins of the Andhras, Intro., p. xi. 


next to Asoka himself in the history of the creed of 
Gautama. The reason is not far to seek. The in- 
vaders, quickly settling in the land of their adoption, 
had none of the prejudices, the conscious desire for 
isolation, which creates so infinite a gulf between 
rulers and ruled in the East of to-day; they were 
ready to adopt the customs and gods of the country, 
to worship, as the precept of Socrates enjoined, " after 
the fashion of the state they dwelt in." But orthodox 
Brahmanism had no place for the " barbarian/' the 
foreign casteless chieftain, who might enter their 
cities, but seldom their ranks ; Buddhism, on the 
other hand, had none of the exclusiveness of the 
Brahmin creed; it boasted, on the contrary, of its 
disregard of caste, and hence, when partly displaced 
in India proper by Brahman influence, it retained its 
hold on the Scythian and Greek invaders, and spread 
to far countries like Ceylon and Japan, and even to 
the fastnesses of Thibet. 1 

Contemporary, or nearly contemporary, with these 
princes appears to have been Antimachus Nicephorus 
— Antimachus II., as he is usually called, to distin- 
guish him from the mysterious prince of that name 
who appears to have been a rival of Euthydemus when 
the latter overthrew Diodotus, and to have claimed 
in some way to be the rightful successor to the throne 
of the murdered king. It would, then, seem that 

1 This is not quite correct. A recent inscription (J.B.A.S., 
1909, p. 1092) tells us of the Greek Heliodorus, son of Dion, a 
subject of Antialcidas, who was a votary of Krishna- Vasudeva. 
But Buddhism is, on the whole, far more cosmopolitan, and 
more likely to make foreign converts. 


Euthydemus distributed his eastern domains among 
members of his family, probably reserving the capital, 
Sagala, for himself and his direct descendants, such 
as Demetrius, who had actually undertaken the con- 
quest of the East. Among the other princes of the 
house of Euthydemus was Strato I. The figure of 
the sedent Hercules upon his coins indicates his 
relationship to that monarch. 1 It seems probable 
that Strato I. was a son of Euthydemus by Agatho- 
cleia, and that the widow acted as regent during his 
minority. 2 One coin has been discovered which 
apparently bears a portrait of the queen-mother. 3 He 
was a contemporary of Heliocles, and was succeeded 
by Strato II., apparently his grandson. Coins of 
Heliocles, of the Persian standard, square and with 
bi-lingual inscriptions, are found in the Kabul Valley, 
and were probably issued after his expulsion from 
Bactria by the Scythians. 

Among this confused mass of petty princes, whose 
coins are the only evidence for their existence, it is 
possible to trace out here and there two distinct lines 
of succession — the feudatories who claimed descent 
from Euthydemus, and those who based their royal 
right upon their loyalty to, or kinsmanship with, the 
usurper Eucratides. To the former group belong 

1 Compare Gardner's representation, XI. 6, with the Euthy- 
demus type, I. 11. 

2 An interesting discussion of the coins of Strato I. and 
Strato II., by Professor Kapson, will be found in the J.BA.S., 
1905, p. 164. Also Corolla Numismatica (Oxford, 1906), p. 245. 
The identification of Gardner's coin (XI. 2) is due to him ; 
Gardner says it is a head of Apollo. But notice the Indian 
queue, or hair-knot. 3 Gardner. XI. 2. 


Pantaleon, Agathocles, Antimachus II., Strato, and 
his descendant of the same name; 1 to the latter, 
Antialcidas, 2 Lysias, and Diomedes. Their coins, ex- 
cept one, bearing the figure of an elephant, figured by 
Gardner (Catalogue, VII. 9), are all bi-lingual, and show 
unmistakable signs of deterioration from the artistic 
point of view ; they seem to be the work of artists to 
whom Greek tradition is little more than a meaning- 
less form, and are mostly bad copies of the Dioscuri 
type of Eucratides. 

The frequent recurrence of the Dioscuri on these 
coins leads to the opinion that the princes who struck 
them wished to intimate their association with the 
house of Eucratides. Lysias, too, appears wearing 
the "Kausia," or highland bonnet, which was, as we 
have already mentioned, affected by Eucratides. 3 
Perhaps Plato, whose coin dates itself at 165 B.C., 
was the first of this line. To proceed farther, how- 
ever, with the list of minor rulers of whose achieve- 
ments even their coins can teach us little, is useless 
to all practical purposes ; it is now necessary to turn 
to the history of those Saka chieftains who were 
settled side by side with the Greeks in the Panjab 
and the surrounding districts. In all probability they 
had entered India from the north, as already related, 
passing through the country of the Byltai (little 
Thibet), into Ki-pin, or Cashmere, and thence down 

1 Also Menander, if we may judge by his adoption of the 
styls of Demetrius. See next chapter. 

2 Antialcidas is perhaps the only Graeco-Bactrian king men- 
tioned in contemporary inscriptions. See Appendix, from which 
we learn that his headquarters was Taxila. 

3 Gardner, XI. 7. Kausia, a "sun hat" (xavo-la), first intro- 
duced into the East by the Macedonians. Vide p. 84. 


the Indus. The Saka who entered India are no 
doubt those Sai-Wang (princes of the Sai) whose 
defeat, is mentioned in the ninth chapter of the Han 
annals. 1 Even before this one body of the Saka 
had settled in the valley of the Cophen, which 
they found an easy conquest, owing to the raid of 
Mithradates I. (circa 160 B.C.). Two important 
cities became the centres of Saka rule. The first 
(and doubtless the oldest, situated as it was in the 
country into which the Saka first entered) was the 
town of Taxila, on the Cashmere borderland; the 
second, far inland, was the great city of Mathura, or 
Muttra, on the Ganges, between which and the other 
Saka states lay various hostile principalities, Greek 
and Indian. The earliest of the satraps of Mathura 
of whose date we have any clue appears to have 
been a certain Rajavula, whose later coins appear to 
imitate those of Strato II. This would enable us 
to fix his date roughly at about the year 120 b.c. 
Now, Rajavula succeeded two satraps, Hagana and 
Hagamasha, whose predecessors appear to have been 
native Indians, to judge by their names ; hence we 
feel justified in placing the occupation of Mathura at 
about a generation before the accession of Rajavula. 
Mathura was very probably occupied at a later date 
than Taxila, 2 although coins give us no support in 

1 Buhler, Ep. Ind. } i. 36. Also inscription "P» from Lion 

2 Taxila (Takshasila) was in the dominion of Antialcidas 
(inscription quoted on previous page). Takshasila was a very 
ancient centre of Buddhist learning — a kind of "University 
town." For the Saka satraps see Eapson, Coins of the Andhras, 
Intro., p. ci. 


this view, the first known satrap of Taxila being the 
Liaka Kusuluka of the "Taxila grant," — the inscrip- 
tion engraved on a metal plate, which has been 
found in the neighbourhood of the modern city. The 
Saka are also mentioned (unless the reference is to 
11 Sakya," — i.e., Sakya-muni, a title of the Buddha), 
in an inscription at Mathura, commonly dated at 
about 100 b.c, or earlier. 

The most remarkable, and from many aspects 
inexplicable, fact is that these " satraps," as their 
very title implies, are subordinate in some way to 
Parthia. The only explanation that can be offered 
is that the Sakas were in occupation of the Taxila 
country somewhat earlier than the time when we 
first find traces of their settlement there, and that 
Mithradates in his Indian expedition actually annexed 
the old kingdom of Porus, as von Gutschmid infers. 1 
"The Kingdom of Porus " included the nations be- 
tween the Indus and the Hydaspes, and would also 
include the princes of Taxila, who had henceforth to 
be content with the title of " satrap,' 1 which it is 
improbable they would otherwise assume, it being the 
custom with their neighbours to assume a style, the 
grandeur of which appears to be in inverse propor- 
tion to the size of the petty realms they governed. 
Mithradates appears to have exacted from them an 
allegiance, which was, however, more or less nominal, 
as there are no traces of a permanent Parthian 
occupation south of the Hindu-Kush, and Justin 2 

1 From Orosius, V. 4, and Diod. Sic, p. 597. 

2 XLI. 6. " He extended the Parthian Empire from the 
Euphrates to Mount Caucasus," i.e., the Paropamisus. 


expressly names this range of mountains as the limit 
of his kingdom to the East. 

Probably this invasion of India took place soon 
after the death of Eucratides, and, with the death 
of the great Parthian monarch himself, no doubt 
the hold of Parthia on the Saka princedoms became 
more and more a nominal matter, till about the 
year 120 B.C., or perhaps some twenty years later, 
a very remarkable personage, whom we may con- 
veniently call by the name of Moga, established 
himself as an independent monarch at Mathura, and 
assumed the overlordship of the Saka kingdoms of 
the Panjab and the Kabul Valley. He assumes the 
very title which their former overlord Mithradates 
had vaunted, that of " Great King of Kings,' ' and 
appears to have been looked upon as the founder 
of a new era. 1 The copper-plate inscription from 
Taxila shows that the rulers of that principality 
willingly acknowledged the overlordship of Moga. 
"Patika, son of the Chatrapa Liaka Kusuluka," it 
reads, " re-enshrined a relic of Buddha, the Stupa of 
which was in ruins ... in the seventy-eighth 2 year, 
of the fifth day of the month Panemus, of the 
Maharaja Moga the Great (Maharajasa Mahantasa 

1 See Fleet's articles, J.B.A.S., 1905, p. <155, and October, 
1907; also V. A. Smith, J.B.A.S., 1903, pp. 46-58; F. W. 
Thomas, J.B.A.S.B.B., 1906. The date of Maues is fixed by 
Dr. Bhandarkar at a.d. 154, J.B.Br.B.A.S., 20, p. 292 ff. For 
Maua-Kes compare Arsa-Kes. 

2 It is almost certain that the seventy-eighth year of (the 
era of) Moga is 99 b.c. Notice that Moga uses a Macedonian 
month (ndvr]iios=M€Tay€iTvi(dv in the Attic calendar). Here we 
see Parthian influence at work. 


Mogasa)." No coins, however, of this " great n king 
have been found bearing the name Moga ; this would 
be in itself a very remarkable fact, but the difficulty 
is solved by identifying Moga with the Maues or 
Mauas (we only know the name in its genitive form 
MATOT 1 ), of whose coins we have a considerable 
number. That the Saka name Mauakes was well 
known, and held by the chiefs of the race at one 
period at least, we know from Arrian, where we find 
that a leader of that name commanded the Saka con- 
tingent of archers at Gaugamela, Eecent researches 
have proved that — Kes is a common " Kose-suffix," 
and is frequent in the form-Gas. Hence Mo-ga, or 
Maua-kes, is very probably the Mauas, or Maua, of 
the coins ; and, indeed, it would be extremely difficult 
to account for many circumstances (particularly the 
total absence of coins of " Moga the Great" amid the 
many specimens of minor princes which have come 
down to us) on any other hypothesis. 

In the meantime the Greek kingdoms were engaged 
in numberless petty wars. Very seldom does the same 
name appear twice, and never more than twice, in 
the coins of these petty rulers ; and from the dates, 
as far as we can determine them, it appears that 
frequent and often violent changes in the succession 
took place with great frequency. No less than twenty- 
three names occur in the space of a century — the 
century after the conquests of Eucratides — and an 
Indian authority speaks of the " fiercely-fighting 
Yavanas," and mentions that " there was cruelly 
dreadful war among them ; they did not stay in 

1 Kharoshthi Moasa. 


Madhyadesa." 1 An echo of some forgotten war, 
perhaps against a Greek neighbour, perhaps against 
the Saka hordes, is commemorated in a brilliant 
series of coins of Antimachus (Gardner, V. 1-3), 
in which Poseidon is figured with the palm of 
victory. Antimachus had won some naval victory, 
possibly fought on the broad Indus, with a rival 
flotilla, striving to effect a landing with troops in his 
domains. One great king, however, arose, whose 
power was sufficient to enable him to knit together 
the warring states into something like a consistent 
whole ; his brilliance, piety, and valour are recorded 
in brief scraps of information which testify in them- 
selves to his power, for he is the only Greek king of 
the period who has left a mark upon contemporary 
literature at all. This was Menander, to whom we 
shall devote the succeeding chapter. Menander 
appears to have not only consolidated the Greeks 
into something like a coherent mass, but to have 
pushed the Scythians of Taxila and Mathura back 
to the bounds of their original domains, while 
the mysterious Saka settlements of Surashtra and 
the lower Indus — an independent branch of the 
nation, an overflow, perhaps, of the settlers in 
Sacastene, quite separate from the tribes who entered 
from the north — were apparently subdued altogether. 2 

1 Gargi-sarihita, ed. Kern, p. 57. The word "Yavana" is 
the Sanskrit form ; Yona the Prakrit. u Yavana " must date 
from times when the digamma was still in use (IdFcov). Perhaps 
they were first known in India through Darius the Great. So 
11 Javan" in Isaiah lxvi. 19. 

2 It is, however, not ascertained whether the Saka reached 
Kathiawar till after the reign of Menander. 


The stupendous achievements of Menander, however, 
were only a transitory flash of brightness in the 
slowly settling gloom, which was gradually overtaking 
the Indo-Greek peoples. 


Principally the coins, and the books treating of them. 
Keferences, even in Justin, our chief authority, are very scanty. 
The reason probably is that there was very little to relate of 
these petty semi-Greek rajas, who did little but maintain inces- 
sant struggles and issue coins, whose magniloquent inscriptions 
are strikingly at variance with the insignificant princelings they 
commemorate. I may add with regard to the names " Moga " 
and " Moa," that Prof. Eapson regards both as merely dialectical 
variants of the same word. Moa-kes would become " Moaga," 
not "Moga." 




Menander, the Milinda of the Buddhist records, 1 is the 
only Bactrian king after Eucratides of whom contem- 
porary history really tells us anything. The reason is 
not far to seek. Of the other Greek princes of the 
Pan jab there is simply nothing to record. Amid the 
stirring events of the Middle East historians naturally 
neglected the doings of these petty rulers maintaining 
a precarious existence on the banks of the distant 
Indus, and ruling a few square miles of barren desert. 
The pretentious titles assumed by these insignificant 
potentates — ^(orrjp, 'Aw/c^to?, and the like — afford no 
clue to their real importance, though in many cases they 
bear eloquent testimony to the struggle for existence 
going on continuously among the Greeks themselves, 
and against Saka, Parthian, and Hindu invaders. The 
coins of these princes are really only important in so 
far as they show us how persistently the artistic 
instinct of the Greek survived, even in the most un- 

1 The identity of Menander and the Pali Milinda may be 
accepted. Dr. Khys Davids identifies Milinda's Yavana 
courtiers, Devamantiya and Anantakaya, as Demetrius and 



promising surroundings. Indian writers dismiss the 
"Yavanas" with the contemptuous epithets of 
" quarrelsome," or " viciously valiant," which suffi- 
ciently indicates their character and the nature of their 
achievements — such as they were. 

However, with Menander, the last of the great 
Bactrian monarchs, and the only one after the Greeks 
crossed the Hindu-Kush to show constructive ability, 
we come to deal with a different type of character. 
Menander was a worthy successor of his forerunners, 
Euthydemus and Eucratides, and echoes of his 
achievements even reached the distant West, and found 
a place in the pages of Greek and Boman historians. 
In the East, too, the increased activity of the Yavanas 
brought them more and more into contact with their 
Hindu neighbours, and from more than one Indian 
source we gather records of conflicts and other evidence 
of the expansion of the Indo-Greek Empire under this 
enterprising ruler. But the most curious and interest- 
ing evidence bearing on the reign of Menander is to be 
sought, not in historical records at all, but in a Bud- 
dhist philosophical dialogue, the Questions of Milinda, 
which sets forth the teaching of the so-called 
"southern " Buddhist school in the form of a series 
of conversations between the Buddhist sage Nagasena 
and the Greek king. There is a good deal of difference 
of opinion about the historical value of this book. The 
actual dialogues are, of course, as imaginary as th6 con- 
versations of Socrates in the works of Plato, and its 
English translator, Dr. Bhys Davids, even thinks that 
the evidence for the conversion of Menander to Bud- 
dhism at all is inconclusive. But this is going too far. 


Apart from the great antecedent probability that the 
Greeks should be involved in the spread of Buddhism 
among the foreign settlers of the Panjab and the North- 
West Frontier, we have the evidence of the coins, con- 
clusive enough when taken in conjunction with other 
facts — notably, the Siamese tradition of Menander's 
attainment to Arhatship, 1 and the story preserved by 
Plutarch of Menander's obsequies, which are just such 
as would be accorded to a great Buddhist monarch. 
Menander's coins, like those of Agathocles, 2 often bear 
Buddhist symbols, such as the dharma-chakra, or 
"Wheel of the Law," 3 and many of the square 
bilingual ones bear the significant Pali epithet 
"Dhramikasa," 4 — " follower of the dharma" — which 
appears to be a Buddhist epithet. It must be stated, 
however, that the term dhdrmika may be merely a 
" literal " translation of the Greek epithet AIKAIOT, 
which appears on the obverse, just as the epithets 
trdtdrasa and the like are used by Menander and other 
kings, Greek and Indian, as the equivalent of the 
title SfiTHPOS. 6 Dr. Ehys Davids declares that the 

1 The Arhat is a saint who has attained the supreme spiritual 
insight which leads to Nirvana (extinction of desire) and conse- 
quent escape from future rebirth. 

2 A Buddhist stupa, or cairn, and the " rail," a very common 
decorative feature in Buddhist architecture (see Gardner, IV. 10). 

3 Gardner, XII. 7. The " wheel " is a favourite Buddhist 
symbol — originally Vishnaivite — signifying the progress of the 
dharma, or religion, of Gautama over the world. For the 
favourite character of this emblem see Cunningham, Coins of 
Ancient India, p. 101, etc. 

4 Gardner, p. 50, No. 74, and Wilson, Ar. Antiq., p. 287, 
No. 16. 

5 The question is briefly this: Is dhramikasa a translation 


bulk of the coins are " clearly pagan, not Buddhist." 
Probability and evidence, however, appear to combine 
in pointing to the truth of the story of Menander's 
conversion. It is likely, too, that the Questions of 
Menander contains a good deal of actual fact in its 
historical setting. The book was written very likely 
not later than a century and a half after the great 
monarch's death, and, as the internal evidence clearly 
shows, in the Panjab, where the author would be able 
to become acquainted with traditions, if not actual 
documents, relating to the reign of the famous Greek 
raja who reigned so widely in North- Western India. 

Menander was probably born about the year 180 B.C., 
soon after Pushyamitra Sunga had usurped the throne 
of the Mauryas, and begun to drive the holders of 
Buddhist tenets into the foreign dominions of the 
Panjab, by reversing the liberal policy of his unorthodox 
predecessors. Owing to this Brahminical reaction, 
the pro-Hellenic tendencies which had distinguished 
the court of Magadha under its late rulers 1 were 
discontinued, and a sharp dividing-line was drawn 
between the foreign settlers of the North-West and 
the orthodox kings of the Middle Land— the Ganges 
Valley and the adjacent country. 

The coins of many of the later Greek kings show 
that, if not converted to Buddhism themselves, they 
ruled over Buddhist subjects. Buddhism eagerly 

of AIKAIOY, or vice versa? But it does not affect the main 
question — the inherent probability that Menander became a 
Buddhist. The epithet occurs on the coins of about ten Indo- 
Greek and Indo- Scythian kings altogether. 

1 Not so pronounced, however, after the death of Asoka. 


sought for Greek and other foreign converts, and 
recently discovered inscriptions show that Greeks were 
even admitted to Hindu sects. 1 

About 190 b.c, it will be remembered, Demetrius first 
descended upon the Panjab, and, profiting by the respite 
resulting from the Eoman invasion of Syria, had seized 
the opportunity of overrunning and annexing a great 
kingdom in North-Western India. Probably Menander 
was a near relation of Demetrius. 2 His coins show a 
striking resemblance to those issued by that monarch, 
and it was in the Indian territory which he reconquered 
for the Greeks that the future prince, who so closely 
resembled him in military prowess, was born. " In 
what district were you born, King ?" asks Nagasena 
of Milinda, in the Questions. " There is an island 
called Alasanda," replies Milinda ; " there I was born." 
" And how far is Alasanda from here (Sagala) ?" 
" About 200 yqjanas" ... " In what town, King, 

1 Appendix III. 

2 Menander's name twice occurs in conjunction with that of 
Apollodotus, who is supposed to be the grandson of Demetrius. 
Perhaps the two kings were closely related. The passages are 
remarkable, as they indicate that Apollodotus was a man of some 
ability. He apparently carried on his father's Indian conquests, 
and his coins had a wide circulation. They are as follows : 

(a) " Deinde . . . Scythicse gentes, Sarancae et Asiani, Bactra 
occupaverunt et Sogdianos. Indicae quoque res additae, gestae 
per Apollodotum (MSS. Apollodorum) et Menandrum, reges 
eorum " (Trogus ap. Justin., Prologue, lxxi.). 

(b) Acpi* ov fji€xpi vvv iv Bapvyd£ois 7ra\cua\ irpox^povaL 8pdxfJ<ai, 
ypd^p,a(TLv ^WrjvLKols eyKe^apay/xevat €7rla-rjfJLa tcov fier 'AAefai/- 
Bpov fiefiao-LkcvKOTCdv AttoXAoSotou /cat Mcvdvdpov " (Periplus, 
chap, xlvii.). 

Apollodotus is nowhere else mentioned except in these two 
passages. See p. 85. 



were you born ?" " There is a village called Kalasi," 
answers the king; "it was there I was born. ,, Un- 
fortunately, the details here given do not help us very 
much. Taking the Buddhist yojana even at its lowest 
computation of, roughly, four and a half miles, 1 it 
seems quite impossible to find any place 900 miles from 
Sialkot, Shorkot, or Chuniot, (all of which have been 
identified with the ancient Sagala), which can possibly 
fit this description. Very likely the author is merely 
writing loosely, and has greatly exaggerated the dis- 
tance. The " Island of Alasanda " may be any one 
of the numerous islands which dot the course of the 
lower Indus. Alexander's activity in this part of India 
was immense, 2 and a string of forts, towns, and trading 
centres extended along the Acesines, and down to the 
mouth of the Indus. Owing to the constant changes 
in the topography of the stream, it is now hopeless to 
try and discover the actual island referred to — the 
scene, no doubt, of some forgotten exploit of Alexander. 
Possibly it stood at the juncture of the Acesines .and 
Indus, and took its name from the great city of Alex- 
andria on Indus, 3 which stood there, not far from the 
modern Utch. This town may have given its name to 
the neighbouring islands. It was strategically of great 
importance, and had been left by Alexander on his re- 

1 So Fleet, J.B.A.S., 1906, p. 1012. Ehys Davids says seven 
miles, which would make the " Island of Alasanda," 1,400 
miles from Sagala, somewhere in the Indian Ocean ! 

2 Some of the cities in the Panjab, Sind, and Kabul were 
Alexandria under Caucasus, which guarded the road to Bactria ; 
Nicaea on the Jhelum ; Bucephala on the Acesines ; and many 
others, including Alexandria on Indus, mentioned below. 

3 Arrian, Anab., VI. 14, 15. 


treat with a strong Greek garrison. Its commandant, 
Eudamus, withdrew his men during the general evacua- 
tion of India in 317 b.c, and the town remained in 
Indian hands until reconquered by Demetrius. It 
then, presumably, remained a part of the Greek 
dominions till the general downfall of the Indo-Greeks 
after the death of Menander. Its celebrity appears to 
have spread to distant lands. The Mahavamso, the 
chronicle of the kings of Ceylon, speaks of " Alesadda 
of theYonas," referring, no doubt, to this great strong- 
hold of their Greek co-religionists. We hear nothing 
more of the " town of Kalasi," standing on this island. 
Formerly it was identified with a supposed Karisi of a 
coin of Eucratides, but this identification has been since 
abandoned. 1 

One of the many puzzling problems connected with 
Menander is that of ascertaining the probable limits 
of his reign. Von Gutschmid fixes the dates as 
approximately from 125-90 b.c, inferring this from 
the "lack of unity" of the Saka coins, which he 
attributes to the disturbing influence of the Greek 
invasion. Menander, however, can scarcely have 
been a contemporary of the powerful Saka monarchs, 
Maues and Azes, who were reigning in Taxila and 
Mathura between 100-50 b.c. The rise of the Sakas 
must have taken place after the Greeks had dwindled 
into insignificance. Maues would certainly have been 
an obstacle in the way of the Greek conquests. His 
rule extended as far as Kipin, while Azes appears to 

1 See the introduction to Bhys Davids' translation of the 
Questions. Professor Bapson now reads Kavisa — i.e., Kapisa, 
Kipin, North-East Afghanistan — on the coin in question 
(Appendix II.). _ 


have been even more prosperous, if we may judge by 
the number of his coins which have been recovered. 
It is also more probable that the independent Saka 1 
kingdoms came into existence after the death of 
Mithradates I. During his reign they appear to have 
been under the overlordship of Parthia, probably as 
a result of his invasion of India. On many grounds, 
then, it appears to be most reasonable to suppose 
that the great expansion of Greek power took place 
before the foundation of the Saka Empire of Taxila, 
which could only possibly have arisen after Menander 1 s 
death, when the " Yavanas " had once more begun 
to decline. The overthrow of both the Saka and 
Greek kingdoms was due to the advance of the 
Kushans, who finally absorbed both alike. We are 
therefore justified in supposing that Menander was 
previous to Maues. His great invasion of India is 
referred to by Patanjali, who appears to have written 
about 150 b.c. ; and he seems to have come in con- 
tact with Pushyamitra Sunga, the usurping general 
who seized the throne of the Maurya dynasty about 
184 b.c. Hence we may roughly suppose that 
Menander reigned at Sagala from about 165-130 b.c., 2 
and was a contemporary of Mithradates I. 3 

1 I have used the word " Saka " to indicate the line of kings 
from Azes to Gondophares, to whom Mr. V. A. Smith gives the 
title of Indo- Parthian. Personally, I do not think they were 
Parthian at all, and were only vassals of Parthia for a brief 

2 The passage quoted from the Periplus (p. 112) makes 
Menander a contemporary of Apollodotus (ace. 156 B.C.), and 
connects both with the period of the Scythian invasion of 
Bactria (160-130 b.c). 

3 There is no reason to suppose that Mithradates I. and 


The capital of the Indo-Greek Empire was the 
fortress of Sagala, very probably to be identified with 
the modern Sialkot. An interesting and vivid picture 
of this distant outpost of Greek civilization is given 
in the Questions. Its wealth of detail seems to 
point to an historical foundation to the description. 
" There is in the country of the Yonakas a great 
centre of trade, a city that is called Sagala, situated 
in a delightful country well watered and hilly, 
abounding in parks and gardens and groves and 
lakes and tanks, a paradise of rivers and mountains 
and woods. Wise architects have laid it out, and its 
people know of no oppression, since all their enemies 
and adversaries have been put down. Brave is its 
defence, with many and various strong towers and 
ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways, 
and with the royal citadel in its midst, white-walled 
and deeply moated. Well laid out are its streets, 
squares, cross-roads, and market-places. Well dis- 
played are the innumerable sorts of costly merchan- 
dise with which its shops are filled. It is richly 
adorned with hundreds of alms-halls of various kinds, 

Menander came into collision. Mithradates had (probably in 
the reign of Heliocles) penetrated as far as the Hydaspes, and 
had forced the Saka satraps to do him homage. But the 
expedition was only a military demonstration (so unimportant 
that Justin does not mention it), and Parthia, unlike Bactria, 
wisely confined herself to affairs north of the Hindu-Kush. 
Hence Menander's conquests provoked no opposition from 
Mithradates and his successors, who had their hands already 
full. In the same way, I infer that Menander and the great 
Saka monarchs could hardly have been contemporaries, or else 
one would have quickly crushed out the other. But Menander's 
campaigns were against Magadha, not against the Sakas. 


and splendid with hundreds of thousands of magni- 
ficent mansions, which rise aloft like the mountain- 
peaks of the Himalayas. Its streets are filled with 
elephants, horses, carriages, and foot-passengers, and 
crowded by men of all sorts and conditions — Brahmins, 
nobles, artificers, and servants. They resound with 
cries of welcome to the teachers of every creed, and 
the city is the resort of the leading men of each of 
the different sects. Shops are there for the sale of 
Benares muslin, of Kotumbara stuffs, and of other 
cloths of various kinds ; and sweet odours are exhaled 
from the bazaars, where all sorts of flowers and per- 
fumes are tastefully set out. Jewels are there in 
plenty, and guilds of traders in all sorts of finery 
display their goods in the bazaars which face all 
quarters of the sky." 1 

This description exaggerates, no doubt, the wealth 
of Sagala, but it at any rate preserves a valuable 
tradition of the splendour of the Greek capital. As 
we should expect, it is described as an opulent trading 
centre, like the parent city of Bactra, where east and 
west travellers from Europe, Alexandria, China, and 
India, met to barter ; and the writer refers in an 
interesting way to the proverbial eagerness for know- 
ledge of the Greek, with his " cries of welcome to 

1 Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxv., pp. 2, 3. It is possible 
that memories of Menander and Sagala inspired the wonderful 
descriptions of the royal city of Kusavati and its king, Maha. 
Sudassana, " a king of kings, a righteous man who ruled in 
righteousness, an anointed Kshatriya," in the Maha Sudassana 
Sutta (Sacred Boohs of the East, vol. xi.). Such stock descrip- 
tions of the Ideal City are, however, not uncommon in Buddhist 
and Jain literature. 


teachers of every creed." The author of the Ques- 
tions certainly preserves a tradition of the pheno- 
menal, prosperity of the Bactrian Greeks of his day, 
and constant references are made to their high social 
status among their Hindu contemporaries. "Wifes 
of Yonakas, nobles, and Brahmins," are classed 
together as "delicate women" in more than one 
passage. Evidently the " Yonaka " was no barbarian, 
but had secured a high rank in Indian society. It 
is not known, of course, when the Milinda embraced 
Buddhism, but the evidence of the coins, and the 
flourishing state of his capital at the time, seems to 
indicate that he was already a great conqueror, ruling 
over a far larger empire than his immediate prede- 
cessors. Perhaps we may suppose the conversion to 
have taken place after his conquest of Western India, 
but prior to his expedition into the Gangetic plain. 
A realistic touch is added to the account of the coming 
of the Buddhist mission to Sagala ; the writer describes 
the monks as they flitted to and fro among the white 
Ionic pillars of the citadel of the great Indo-Greek, 
glistening in the tropical sun, as " lighting up the 
city with their yellow robes like lamps, and bringing 
down upon it the breezes from the heights where 
the sages dwell." 

Probably the earliest of Menander's achievements 
was to recover the Indian domains of Demetrius, and 
Strabo refers to an account given by Apollodorus of 
Artemita of this. 1 

1 Geog., XI. xi., § 1 : "The chiefs of Bactria conquered more 
territory in India than Alexander. . . . They (i.e., Demetrius 
and Menander) got possession not only of Pattalene (Sind), but 


This involved, no doubt, a campaign against the 
numerous Greek and Saka princelings of the Pan jab, 
who were forced to acknowledge the overlordship of 
Sagala, the latter probably transferring to Menander 
their allegiance (more or less nominal) as " satraps" 
of Parthia. The most important of Menander's early 
undertakings was the reduction of Pattalene and 
Sigerdis (the coast-line from Karachi to the Gulf of 
Kachh), and of the solitary Saka settlement of 
Surashtra (the Kathiawar coast). Another campaign 
to the north led to the annexation of Kapisa and 
territory on the borders of Khotan, in the regions 
of the Mongolian " Seres and Phrynoi." The object 
of these expeditions was not merely the acquisition 
of fresh territory ; by the extension of his power to 
the north Menander secured the important trade 
with China, while he followed Alexander's plan of 
conquering the tribes along the Indus bank and at 
the mouth of the river for similar commercial 
reasons. The possession of a seaport is always 
indispensable to industrial prosperity, and the trade 
between the mouth of the Indus and the Persian 
Gulf had been considerable since the days of Darius I. 
The result of this wise policy is visible in the opu- 
lence of Sagala, referred to in the passage of the 
Questions already quoted. 

Mithradates I., Menander's only serious rival in the 
west, was fully occupied by internal reform and 

of the kingdoms of Saraostos and Sigerdis and the rest of the 
coast-line (of Sind). Apollodorus calls Bactria the ornament 
of the Arian land. They extended their empire to the Seres 
and Phrynoi." 


frontier troubles. With the Scythians on the one 
hand and the Syrians on the other, he wisely resisted 
the temptation to prosecute further conquests beyond 
the Hindu-Kush. On the other hand, the great Saka 
kingdom, which became so powerful in the next genera- 
tion, had not yet arisen. The scattered Saka tribes, 
shaken by the invasion of Mithradates, to whom they 
had sworn a more or less nominal allegiance, remained 
in a semi-independent condition, an easy prey to a 

A harder task, however, awaited Menander in 
Central and Eastern India. Pushy amitra, the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Mauryas, had already been 
nearly thirty years at the head of the kingdom which 
he had wrested from the degenerate successors of the 
great Chandragupta. During this time he had con- 
siderably restored the ancient glories of the kingdom 
of Pataliputra, which, though less extensive, was more 
compact than in the days of Asoka. Its frontier forts 
on the south lined the banks of the Narmada ; x on the 
west it was bounded by the Saka satrapy of Mathura. 
Bhilsa, where the king's son ruled as viceroy, was 
probably the frontier town of the south-west border. 
It appears to have been about the year 155 b.c. that 
Menander determined to invade the great kingdom of 
the west, and try to emulate the achievement of Asoka 
in conquering the whole of Northern Hindustan. His 
motive was partly a religious one. Pushyamitra had 
deserted Buddhism for the older religion of his ances- 

1 The Nerbudda, which is usually taken to be the Madakin 
of the Malavikagnimitra (see V. A. Smith, Hist. India, 
chap, viii., note 3). 


tors, and made his kingdom the rallying-point of a 
great Brahminical revival. With all the zeal of a recent 
convert, Menander must have been inspired with a 
desire to restore the ancient ascendancy of the creed of 
Gautama in the Middle Land, and the proselytizing 
character of Buddhism naturally accentuated that 
desire. Pushyamitra, if he had not actually persecuted 
or insulted the Buddhists, had driven them out of 
Central India. 

On the other hand, Menander's advance was viewed 
with apprehension by the orthodox subjects of the 
Sunga monarch. The Gargi-samhitd, in a remark- 
able passage, gives utterance to their forebodings : 
u When the viciously valiant Yavanas, after reducing 
Saketa, the Panchala country, and Mathura reach the 
royal seat at Pataliputra, the kingdom will be reduced 
to chaos." 1 

A curious reference to an early encounter between 
the advancing Greeks and the Indian monarch 
occurs in the historical drama, the Malavikagnimitra. 
Pushyamitra, who was now an old man, had deter- 
mined to mark the completion of his conquest of Central 
India (and, incidently, his utter renunciation of Bud- 
dhist principles) by a revival of the ancient Brahmini- 
cal ceremony of the " horse sacrifice," the Asva-medha. 
The ceremony consisted of consecrating a horse and 
letting it loose for a year, attended by a mounted 
guard. The horse roamed at will, and thereby sym- 
bolized the entire control of the consecrator over the 

1 See Cunningham, Num. Chron., 1870, p. 224. " Like all 
Puranic references, it is in the future, though relating to the 
past " (Eapson, Coins of the Andhras, lxiii.). 


country where it wandered ; any rival wishing to chal- 
lenge the ruler's supremacy might do so by attempting 
to seize the animal. On this particular occasion the 
consecrated beast appears to have strayed as far as 
the river Sindhu, and to have crossed the stream. 
Menander had probably by this time begun his aggres- 
sions by laying siege to Madhyamika (near Chitor, in 
Eajputana). 1 A party of Greeks, belonging, no doubt, 
to the investing army, had the temerity to take up the 
challenge by attacking the horse. The defending party, 
under Vasumitra, the king's grandson, managed to 
beat off the " viciously valiant" barbarians, and the 
hundred young Eajput nobles evidently acquitted them- 
selves well under their youthful leader. The dramatist 
represents the old king as writing enthusiastically to 
his son, the warden of the marches at Bhilsa, inform- 
ing him of the boy's achievement, and bidding him to 
the sacrifice of the horse, which had been so manfully 
preserved. Menander, however, does not appear to 
have received any serious checks in his meteoric pro- 
gress. Oude (Saketa) and the ancient kingdom of 
Mathura fell before the Yavana advance, and this must 
have necessitated the speedy withdrawal of the Sunga 
forces from the frontier town of Bhilsa, and the evacua- 
tion of the Bharut country. Menander's ambitions, 
however, did not stop here. Fired by the desire to 
extend his realms farther than any Greek had pene- 
trated before, and animated, perhaps, by the ambition 

1 The contemporary grammarian Patanjali gives two sen- 
tences, " The Yavana was besieging Saketa : the Yavana was 
besieging Madhyamika," as examples of the Imperfect Tense, 
which indicates an event which hssjust taken place. 


to rival the exploits of his great prototype Asoka and 
restore the supremacy of Buddhism in the empire of 
the Mauryas, he pushed on to Pataliputra itself. 
Tradition says that he crossed the Son, but it is im- 
probable that he actually attacked the historic capital 
of Middle India. Probably he only got as far as he did 
owing to various other troubles (notably an attack by 
the Raja of Kalinga upon Magadha), which distracted 
Pushyamitra's attention. The usual fate of an attempt 
at imperial policy among the Greeks overtook Men- 
ander. " The fiercely-fighting Greeks," we are told, 
" did not stay long in the Middle Land : a fierce strife 
had broken out in their own country." The miserable 
princelings of the Pan jab, incapable of appreciating 
the magnificent schemes of their overlord, had, as 
usual, broken out into one of their suicidal faction 
fights. The Saka satrapies may have been giving 
trouble as well. It was hardly likely that a hetero- 
geneous and scattered realm like Menander's would 
remain long at rest in the absence of its ruler. Menan- 
der beat a hasty retreat. The veteran Pushyamitra did 
not long survive his repulse of the Yavana forces, — the 
last European 1 invaders of India till Vasco da Gama, 
1,500 years later, appeared off Calicut. Menander was 
one of the most powerful of the Bactrian monarchs ; 
indeed, there are only four of them who are of any 
real historical importance — Diodotus I., Euthydemus, 
Demetrius, and Menander. " If he really crossed the 
Hypanis to the east, and reached the Soanus," 2 says 

1 If we can call Menander a European ! 

2 Geog., XI. xi., § 1. MSS. read Isamus. Some conjecture 
Imaus; but Menander never crossed the Himalayas. Strabo 


Strabo, rather incredulously, "he must have conquered 
more nations than Alexander himself." 

Stra,bo rightly reckons Menander's real achievement 
to have been the reconquest of the kingdom of Deme- 
trius — the Panjab, Pattalene (Sind), and the mouth of 
the Indus. The author of the Periplus, writing, per- 
haps, a couple of centuries later, says that Menander's 
silver drachmae were still in circulation in Broach, 
which shows that he fully developed the seaward com- 
merce which his conquests had opened up. He seems 
to have appreciated equally the advantages of reopen- 
ing the trading routes with China. 1 

Menander died some years later. Towards the end 
of his life he appears to have followed the example 
of Asoka, whom he apparently made his model, and 
without reliquishing the throne, to have taken the 
robes of the Buddhist monk. 2 It is not uncommon 
in Hindu and Buddhist countries for a man to devote 
his later years in this way to religious exercises. 
Death found him in the field, engaged no doubt in 
the interminable task of keeping order among the 
petty rajas of the Panjab. Tradition asserts that 
before death he attained the rank of an Arhat, the 
highest degree of sainthood of the Buddhist religion, 

would hardly mix them up with the Paropamisus. Iomanes 
(Jumna) is a plausible conjecture. I prefer, however, Soanus, 
referring to the raid on Pataliputra. The great distance would 
account for Strabo's surprise. " Hypanis " is apparently the 
Beas (Hyphasis). For the original passage see Appendix V. (e), 
pp. 163-164. 

1 The Phrynoi and Seres of Strabo. 

2 The Chinese Emperor, Hsiao Yen, did the same. Giles, 
Chinese Lit., p. 133. 


and his ashes, like those of the Buddha, were eagerly 
disputed for by the states over which he had ruled. 
Finally, as in the former case, a compromise was 
effected, and, according to the common Buddhist 
practice, the relics were divided, and carried away 
to be deposited under stupas in the districts of the 

Plutarch 1 has, curiously, preserved an account of 
his death, which is in agreement with the oriental 
story : " A certain Menander ruled with equity among 
the Bactrians and died in the field during a cam- 
paign. The states in other respects joined together 
in celebrating his obsequies, but over his relics a 
dispute arose, which was, after some difficulty, settled 
on the following terms : each was to take back an 
equal share of his ashes, that memorials 2 of the man 
might be set up among them all." Thus perished 
the " soldier-saint" of Bactria, renowned alike for 
his equity, his statesmanship, his military prowess, 
and his learning in matters secular and sacred. " In 
the whole of the Jambu-dipa," says the author of 
the Questions, " there was none to be compared to 
Milinda Baja. ... He was endowed with riches 
and guarded by military power in a state of the 
utmost efficiency." 

1 In the tract De Bepublica Gerenda, p. 821. This account 
is, strangely enough, corroborated by a similar story found at 
the end of a Siamese version on the Milinda-Panha. This is 
also the authority for Milinda being an Arhat at his death. 
Certainly his funeral was such as a reputed Arhat would enjoy. 
Others, however, find a parallel in the obsequies of Alexander. 

2 Mvrjfiela — i.e., stupas or dagabas (for the original text, see 
Appendix V.). 


His coins, which are found all over Western and 
North-Western India in great quantities, 1 testify to 
his prosperity. His favourite emblem seems to be 
the goddess Pallas, 2 who appears on eighty-four out 
of ninety-five of the specimens in the Calcutta 
Museum. Pallas, who also figures on the coins of 
Demetrius, may have been the family emblem, as 
Zeus was of the Diodoti. At any rate, she is appro- 
priate enough to the powerful monarch, famed both 
as a soldier and a scholar. She appears in various 
guises : sometimes armed, or hurling the thunderbolt 
at the king's enemies ; while on the reverse victory 
holds out a wreath for the victorious general. Many 
of the coins, especially those of the elephant device, 
or those bearing the figure of Hercules, 3 resemble 
very closely those of Demetrius. 4 Menander appears 
to have been a descendant of Demetrius, and to have 
inherited his soldierly abilities and ambitions. The 
king himself generally appears armed. His features 
are coarse, and do not appear to be those of a man 
of pure Hellenic descent. His Buddhist coins have 
been already mentioned. 

His death, as may be well supposed, was a signal 
for a general disruption of the Bactrian kingdom. A 
host of petty princes, known only by their coins, 

1 There are seventy-four in the British Museum. This is the 
highest number among the Bactrian Greeks (Eucratides is next 
with sixty-two), but far short of Azes, of whose coins the British 
Museum has over two hundred. Ninety-five of Menander's 
coins are at Calcutta. 

2 E.g., Gardner, British Museum Catalogue, Plate XI. 8-13. 

3 Gardner, op. cit., XII. 6. 

4 Gardner, III. 2. 


ruled in different parts of the Pan jab ; and eventually 
the paramount power in the north-west passed from 
the Greeks to the so-called " Indo-Parthian " princes 
of Taxila, who attained a considerable degree of 
prosperity under their prince Maues, "Moga the 
Great," as he is styled in a contemporary inscription. 
Greek rule lingered faintly on for about two centuries 
after Menander's death. Inscriptions in Buddhist 
caves up to the second century a.d. mention gifts 
by Yavana converts, who, significantly enough, bear 
Indian names. Finally, the Yue-chi, the Turki tribe 
which had finally become the masters of Bactria, 
driving their Saka predecessors before them, began 
to advance towards the Hindu-Kush. Long residence 
in a settled habitation had converted these wandering 
nomads into a powerful and well-organized nation. 
They had adopted Buddhism, and acquired a veneer 
of Indo-Greek civilization. The Bactrian Greeks 
were the first to submit. Hermeeus, " the last of the 
Bactrians," gladly put himself under the sovereignty 
of the Kushan leader, Kadphises. 1 For his lifetime he 
remained a roi faineant, and coins were struck at 
Sagala bearing the titles of the Scythian on the one 
side and the portrait of the Greek on the other. 
Lastly, the Greek ruler disappears. The latest coins 
of Kadphises, bearing on the one side the Bactrian 
camel, and on the other the Indian bull, mark signi- 
ficantly enough the final absorption of the Bactrian 
Greek kings of India by their ancient enemies of 
the northern steppes. 2 

1 Kadphises I. (Kujulakarakadphises). 

2 Circa a.d. 50, 




It is curious how little has been written about the great 
Baetrian monarch Menander. See Vincent Smith, Early 
History of India, chaps, viii., ix., and x., and The Questions of 
Milinda, translated by Dr. Khys Davids, Sacred Books of the 
East, xxv.-xxvi. Eduard Meyer's article in the new edition 
of the Encyclopcedia Britannica is a useful summary. 



" The East bowed low before the blast 
In patient, deep disdain ; 
She let the legions thunder past, 
And plunged in thought again." 

And so, less than three centuries after the Macedonian 
legionaries first struck terror into the Aryans of the 
Pan jab, the last traces of Greek rule in India disappear 
from the page of history. No written records preserve 
for us the melancholy story of the gradual dwindling 
and final extinction of the miserable remnants of the 
once irresistible soldiery of Alexander; but it is not 
difficult to reconstruct from the numerous Graeco- 
Indian coins handed down to us the history of their 
downfall. Incessant fighting was partly the cause. 
The " viciously valiant Yavanas," to use the con- 
temptuous phrase of a Sanskrit writer, were for 
ever at war with their neighbours, when not engaged 
in the equally absorbing pastime of flying at one 
another's throats. This inherent vice of the successors 
to Alexander's vast empire caused its disintegration 
everywhere. The great conqueror's premature death 
had prevented him from undertaking any kind of con- 
structive policy, and his possessions fell into the 



clutches of men whose trade was war, and who cared 
little for, and understood less of, any other. The Greeks 
had been forced to abandon their territories north of 
the Hindu-Kush because they had been " drained dry 
of blood " by incessant war, and the same process was 
repeated in India. They suffered the same fate which 
had overtaken Sparta some four centuries earlier. 

Another equally powerful factor in obliterating Greek 
rule in India was the gradual process of absorption to 
which the coins bear such vivid witness. From Eucra- 
tides to Hermseus we perceive a steady decline of the 
Greek element in these records of artistic and national 
feeling. Greek weights and standards give place to 
Indian systems ; Indian inscriptions become more 
usual, while their Greek equivalents begin to show 
signs of corruption ; the figures betray, with increasing 
frequency, the handiwork of the native craftsman. It 
is tolerably easy to conjecture what was happening : 
the Greek, cut off from his home and all chance of inter- 
course with his countrymen, was intermarrying with 
his neighbours, with the usual effect. 1 Intermarriage 
between conqueror and conquered nearly always results 
in the absorption of the former (who are generally, as in 
this case, a mere handful compared with the original in- 
habitants), as may be seen by a glance at the remnants 
of Dutch and Portuguese rule in the East to-day. The 
very fact that Kadphises shared the throne with Her- 
maeus seems to indicate that Scythian and Greek 

1 Alexander, it will be remembered, encouraged intermarriage 
with the natives and set the example himself. It is noteworthy 
that inscriptions from Buddhist caves of the first century a.d. 
always refer to " Yavanas " with Hindu names (Appendix III.). 


amalgamated readily. The cosmopolitan descendants 
of Alexander's colonists had, of course, none of the 
Hellenic exclusiveness which formerly dubbed all non- 
Greeks as "barbarians," and shunned any kind of 
social intercourse with them. On the other hand, 
the conservatism which distinguishes the respectable 
Hindu of to-day was probably very much less in 
evidence in the first century a.d. ; it dates almost en- 
tirely from the Brahminical reaction of some two 
centuries after the time of which we are now speaking. 
It is a curious fact that few races have disappeared so 
utterly in India as the Greeks. We have, very prob- 
ably, representatives of the Scythians in the Jats 1 of 
the Pan jab. The Parsees, who brought very few of their 
females in their flight from Iran, retain their indi- 
viduality completely. 2 

The Greeks, then, as a political factor, disappeared 
from Indian soil before the end of the first century a.d. 
We now come to a further question : Did the Greek 
occupation have any effect upon the development of 
Indian art or literature ? Did the contact with the 
West affect, to any appreciable degree, the progress of 
civilization in the East? On this subject there has 
long been a difference of opinion. Writers like Weber 
and Niese, carried away by the enthusiasm of their 
discoveries of similarities, often purely fortuitous, 
between the art and literature of India and Greece, have 

1 Jat is the same word as "Getae," in all probability. Others, 
less plausibly, identify them with the Zanthii of Strabo, or the 
Iatii of Pliny. Cunningham, Arch. Survey Bejports, II., 54 ff. 

2 For foreign elements in India and the process by which 
they were absorbed, see Mr. Bhandarkar's able paper in the 
Indian Antiquary, January, 1911. 


formed a very exaggerated opinion of the influence of 
Greek culture upon the East. It is easy, of course, to 
find parallels, more or less close, between the legends 
and speculations of both countries. The story of the 
rape of Helen in the Iliad bears a general resemblance 
to the central theme of the Bamayana ; the Orphic 
doctrines of metempsychosis and retributive justice are 
very similar to the theories which have formed the basis 
of Hindu religious speculation since the time of the 
Upanishads. There is no solid ground, however, for 
supposing that during the Bactrian period either Hindu 
or Greek knew much of the language or literature of 
the other. The Greeks were notoriously scornful of 
the achievements of the "barbarians," 1 and for an 
outsider to learn Sanskrit in those days would have 
been a sheer impossibility, owing to Brahminical 
opposition to and the lack of written works in that 

How superficial was the real knowledge about India, 
even of a Greek who had been long resident in the 
country, may be gathered from such remarks as that of 
Megasthenes that the Indians worshipped Hercules 
and Dionysus. 2 The Hindus were equally indifferent to 
Greek influence, which was essentially repugnant to 
the exclusive Brahminical tradition, and only made 
itself felt among the cosmopolitan dwellers in the Pan- 

1 Ctesias is another notorious instance. Though resident for 
years at the Persian Court, he was unable, or unwilling, to learn 
enough of the Avesta tongue to read the invaluable documents 
which must have then been accessible. In consequence his 
history is a valueless mass of legends. 

2 Hercules was the mace-bearing Shiva. The legend connect- 
ing Dionysus with India was most persistent, 


jab. Considerably later, probably in the second and 
third centuries after Christ, we find Hindu writers be- 
traying a certain acquaintance with Greek astronomy ; 
but it is doubtful whether this implies a knowledge of 
Greek by Indian philosophers, as no other branches 
of Indian learning (Logic for instance), show any signs 
of western influence. 1 Professor Weber quotes in sup- 
port of his contention a statement of St. Chrysostom 
(a.d. 117). St. Chrysostom writes as follows: "It is 
said that the poetry of Homer is sung by the Indians, 
who had translated it into their own language and 
modes of expression. . . . They are not unacquainted 
with the woes of Priam, and the weeping and wailing 
of Andromache and Hecuba, and the heroic feats of 
Achilles and Hector, so potent was the influence of 
what man had sung." 2 This assertion, however, need 
not be taken very seriously ; it is probably based upon 
travellers' stories of the general resemblances of the 
Hindu epics to Greek tales. Similar statements, of no 
greater value, are found in Plutarch and iElian. 3 
Plutarch says that through Alexander Asia was 
civilized and Homer became known there; iElian 
asserts that the Indians and Persians have translated 
the poems of Homer, "if we may believe those who have 
written on these subjects." 

The extravagant theories of Weber, Windisch, Niese, 
and others, led to a natural reaction. Later writers, 
among whom Mr. Vincent Smith is perhaps the most 

1 Apparently the Hindus knew something about Greek 
medicine at an earlier date. 

2 Or., LIII., § 554. McCrindle, Ancient India, p. 177. 

3 Ver. Hist, XIL, 48. 


prominent, have been disposed to deny that the 
Bactrian Greeks exerted any appreciable influence 
upon India whatever. They contend that the occupa- 
tion of India by the Greeks who followed Eucratides 
and Menander was purely a military and commercial 
matter; and the invaders were swept away, just as 
the relics of Alexander's invasion had been swept 
away, without leaving any permanent traces behind 

Writers who hold this view argue that it is not likely 
that rough and illiterate Macedonian soldiers and their 
(probably in many instances half-caste) descendants 
would have any great knowledge of Greek literature, 
much less imbue their neighbours with a taste for it. They 
point out, moreover, that not a single Greek inscription 
belonging to the Bactrian period has been unearthed in 
India, and they come to the conclusion that palpable 
evidences of an active Hellenism have not been found 
in the East. " The history of these Greek dynasties," 
says the writer of an important article on this subject 
in the new Encyclopaedia, "is for us almost a blank, and 
for estimating the amount and quality of Hellenism in 
Bactria, we are reduced to building hypotheses upon 
the scantiest data." This is undeniably true ; the 
thick mists of obscurity, which unhappily hang like a 
pall upon the early history of India, make anything 
approaching to certainty impossible. But this very 
fact makes it almost as rash to deny Greek influence 
in toto as to make too much of it ; and one or two 
considerations make it appear highly probable that 
the Greek settlers in India were not altogether the 
" illiterate military colonists " that the anti-Hellenists 


would have us suppose them to have been. First and 
foremost, the splendid coins which distinguish the 
Bactrian empire can only have been the work of an 
extremely cultivated race. Mr. W. W. Tarn, 1 one of the 
opponents of the Hellenic theory, is driven to the some- 
what desperate expedient of declaring them to be a 
" sport," the result of a spasmodic outburst of genius. 
That they were, on the contrary, the product of a 
highly artistic nation is far more probable. The 
traditions of Menander and his capital at Sagala, as 
preserved in the Milinda Panha, appear to indicate 
that the Bactrian Greeks were a cultured nation 
at the time of their greatest prosperity. The descrip- 
tion of the Greek monarch's court seems to show 
that he was not a mere semi-barbarous conqueror, 
but a ruler who, if he did not seek to rival the 
great cities of the Ptolemies or the Seleucids, at 
any rate upheld the traditions of Hellenic civiliza- 
tion in a not unworthy manner. The fact that long 
after the extinction of Greek rule their Scythian 
successors continued to use Greek or semi-Greek 
inscriptions on their coins seems to show that the 
language had considerable prestige in Sagala, and per- 
haps other towns of Western India ; it may even have 
been the court language of the Indo- Scythian and Indo- 
Parthian rulers. The paucity of Greek inscriptions of 
the period does, indeed, lend some colour to Mr. Tarn's 
assertions ; but even here, though we must not make 
too much of the fact, we should remember that 
archaeology in India is still in its infancy — the Kabul 
Valley is practically untouched — and even the last 
1 J.H.S., vol. xxii., p. 266, 


twelve months have brought to light many valuable 
discoveries, modifying considerably our views upon 
Graeco-Indian art. The famous Gandhara sculptures 
belong, of course, not to the period of the Greek occupa- 
tion, but to the more settled and prosperous rule of 
the powerful Scythian monarchs who succeeded them. 
But were these works of art the product of indigenous 
workmen, descendants of the Bactrian Greeks whose 
artistic powers found such magnificent expression in 
their coins, or were they the work of outsiders, called 
in from distant countries for the purpose ? Perhaps 
Bactrian Greeks were employed more generally than 
is usually supposed in connection with these under- 
takings. 1 It does not appear to be likely that im- 
ported artists were employed in the great numbers 
that would have been required to execute the num- 
berless friezes, statues, and bas-reliefs which have 
been discovered. On the other hand, an inscription 
discovered by Mr. Marshall near Bhilsa in 1909 2 shows 
very clearly that during the rule of the Bactrian 
kings Bactro-Greek workmen were employed in India, 
being lent, no doubt, on account of their technical pro- 
ficiency, to Indian rajas. This inscription, which is 
of the utmost importance in the study of the question 
of Greek influence on Indian art, was found on a pillar 
surmounted by an image of Garud. It runs as follows : 3 
" On behalf of Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Saviour, 
King of Samkasya, King Chandradasa caused this 
Garud pillar of Vasudeva, God of Gods, to be made by the 

1 See Appendix III. 

2 J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 1053 ff.; vide Appendix III. 

3 Ibid., p. 1092. 


Greek, Heliodorus, son of Dion, of Taxila, a worshipper 
of Bhagavat, who had been sent by the Maharaja 

Here, then, we have very strong evidence of the 
existence of Bactro-Greek sculptors. Heliodorus is 
no outsider called in from the West. He is a subject 
of Antialkidas, 1 and, what is still more remarkable, a 
convert to Hinduism, which points unmistakably to 
his eastern origin. Further proof is found in the 
likeness between much of the Gandhara work and the 
coins of the later Bactrian kings. A Triton group 
with serpent legs (evidently a reminiscence of the 
Pergamene sculptures), in the Lahore Museum, re- 
sembles very remarkably a similar design on coins 
of Hippostratus. 2 Marine subjects, Tritons fighting 
with gods, and so forth, are commonly used for 
decorative purposes, just as Poseidon and other 
maritime subjects appear on Bactrian coins. Anti- 
machus, it will be remembered, struck coins bearing 
the figure of Poseidon. It is curious to find sculptures 
of this character in kingdoms so many hundreds of 
miles from the coast. It has been suggested that the 
Greeks never got over their first surprise at the sight 
of the mighty Indus, which appeared to them more 
like an inland sea than a river. A peculiarly 
beautiful example of Greeco-Indian workmanship was 
the priceless reliquary discovered by Dr. Spooner in 
the remains of the great Stupa of Kaniska, near 
Peshawar, in 1909. This, again, was the work of 
a Greek artist, for it bears an inscription to the 

1 170 b.c. 

2 See, e.g., Gardner, Plate XIV. 6. 


effect that it was made by "Agesilaos, overseer at 
Kaniska Vihara." 1 

Kaniska was a fervent supporter of Buddhism. 
During his reign shrines sprang up in every direc- 
tion in North-Western India, and the adaptable 
Greek workman of the East was as ready to use his 
technical skill for the portrayal of Buddhist scenes, 
as his western kinsmen were to accommodate them- 
selves to the foreign deities, Mithra, Isis, and the 
rest, who about the same time began to find a place 
in the Koman Pantheon. 2 Moreover, the Indo-Greek 
culture which thus became associated with Buddhism 
spread far beyond the borders of Hindustan. Recent 
explorations have unearthed, in what are at present 
vast sandy steppes in distant Khotan, remains of 
once populous cities, where fragments of Buddhist 
manuscripts in the Kharoshthi character are mingled 
with seals, carvings, and bas-reliefs of an unmistak- 
ably Greek type. 3 

It is difficult to estimate, with the evidence we 
have, the precise nature of the debt of Indian art 
to Greece. It is true that we have no artistic 
remains in India which belong to the pre- Alexandrian 
period. The truth is, before the time of Asoka (272- 

1 J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 1058. 

2 " Les sculpteurs qui pour le benefice des pieux donateurs du 
Gandhara adapter ent le type d'Apollon a la representation des 
divinites bouddhiques, semblent bien les petits-cousins de ceux 
qui vers le meme epoque coiffaient le Mithra persan au bonnet 
phrygien de Ganymede . . . et donnaient au Jesus des Cata- 
combs les traits d'Orphee ou du bon Pasteur" (Foucher, UArt 
du Gandhara, I. 

3 Aurel Stein, Sand-buried Cities of Khotan, p. 396, etc. 


231 b.c.) stone was very little used for sculpture ; in 
the Bhilsa carvings and other early Buddhist work 
we can still plainly trace the influence of wood-carving 
in the treatment of the stone. 1 The " Buddhist rail " 
pattern, for instance, is an imitation in stone of 
an actual wooden railing, used in earlier times for 
fencing in the stupa. On the other hand, it would 
be impossible to say that the Greeks taught India 
the art of carving in stone, as the earliest stone 
monuments, the Bhilsa carvings and the Asoka pillar 
at Sarnath, show no signs whatever of Greek influence ; 
the latter is obviously Persian rather than Greek. 
The same applies to Indian architecture ; the earliest 
structures, like the Karla caves, show no traces of 
Greek influence. 2 The Indo-Greek school of the 
Kushan period, with its Corinthian and Ionic pillars 
and stucco ornaments, is a purely local and exotic 
product. The practice of using regular coins, pro- 
perly stamped and shaped, in the place of rude 
punch-marked ingots, may have been introduced by 
the Greeks ; the Indians, however, never excelled in 
the art of coining, and their best coins were only 
clumsy imitations of Greek models. While, then, we 
may safely deny that the Bactrian Greeks, or other 
"Yavana" settlers, exercised any appreciable in- 
fluence on Indian art, it is important to realize that 
the contact with the West imparted an immense 

1 Wooden groins of great antiquity still span the roof of the 
Chaitya at Karle. 

2 And yet, curiously enough, they were largely due to the 
pious gifts, if not the actual work, of " Yavanas," vide Appen- 
dix III. In the same way the Garud pillar, already referred to, 
is quite Indian in style, 


impetus to India; it was like an electric shock, 
waking the land to new life, after the lethargy of 
countless years of undisturbed peace. The vigorous 
rule of the Maurya monarchs, which saw the begin- 
nings of a great Indian renaissance, was indirectly 
the result of Alexander's invasion. But the Gandhara, 
or Indo-Greek school of architecture and sculpture, 
is almost entirely foreign, and influenced India very 
little. It was the work of foreign artists, patronized 
by foreign kings, and was completely swept away in 
the Brahminical revival of the fourth century a.d. 
The Gandhara sculptures are not very high art, 
from either the Greek or the Indian point of view, 
though they are of immense interest to the student 
of Buddhism, recording, as they do, the legends 
and episodes of the life of Gautama in a unique 
manner. 1 

Turning from art to literature, we are confronted 
with the question whether the post-Grecian literature 
of India was influenced by the contact with the 
Bactrian invaders. It has been already shown how 
futile have been the efforts to detect any traces of 
such influence in earlier times ; but it is often claimed 
that the Indian drama, at least, shows much clearer 
signs of western contact. It is perfectly possible that 
Greek plays were acted at Sagala, and perhaps other 
Indo-Greek cities, 2 and may even have been occasion- 

1 Did the practice of idolatry come to India from Greece ? 
No sculptures of Buddha, or of any Hindu gods, are found in the 
early Hindu or Buddhist remains. 

2 Plutarch (Vit. Alex.) states that, after Alexander's invasion, 
" the children of Persians, Gedrosians, and Susians, sang the 
tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles." 


ally performed in the presence of the Kushan kings, 
who affected Greek culture. Any a priori arguments 
as to the improbabilty of the Bactrian Greeks having 
"any time or energy left for such things as art, 
science, and culture," 1 apply equally well to the anti- 
Hellenic and semi-civilized Parthians; yet everyone 
knows the story of the company which was acting the 
"Bacchae" before the court when the news of the 
Battle of Carrhae arrived. Unfortunately, the evidence 
for any direct influence is extremely slight. Dramas 
were known in India, as we learn from the Mahdb- 
hdshya of Patanjali, at the time when Bactro-Greek 
rule was flourishing ; but the only plays which have 
come down to us belong to a much later period. The 
introduction of the Yavanikd, or " Greek Curtain," 2 
is probably due to later Graeco-Roman influence, as 
it is improbable that a curtain was used at all on the 
Greek stage. Similarly, the frequent appearance of 
"Yavani slaves" on the stage as the attendants of 
princes represents an everyday feature of Indian 
court-life. Greek girls (from Syria and Egypt) were 

1 W. W. Tarn, J.H.S., 1902, p. 292. 

2 The term Yavanikd probably means a curtain made of 
Greek fabric. The curtain may have been suggested by someone 
who had seen Koman plays. Yavanis are usually armour- 
bearers ; the term, like the French Suisses, is quite vague. 
These terms do not indicate Greek influence, but merely that 
the Yavanas were in India at the time of the rise of the drama. 
The drama certainly flourished at the time of Patanjali, the 
contemporary of Menander ; it may be as old as Panini (350 B.C.). 
Fragments of a Buddhist drama, by Asvaghosa, Kaniskha's 
court-poet, have been unearthed in Central Asia (Eapson, Art. 
Indian Drama, in Hastings' Dictionary of Beligion and 


often sent to India as presents, or by way of tribute. 
Weber's attempt to trace in the Mricchakatika the 
influence of Menander, is about on a par with his 
endeavour to connect the Ramayana and the Iliad. 
As a matter of fact, the florid classical drama of 
India is no more like the severe austerity of the 
Greek stage than a Dravidian shrine is like a Greek 
temple. Their only point of similarity is the avoid- 
ance by both of violent action on the stage. Indian 
dramas, with their prologues, their mixture of comic 
and pathetic (the " clown " is a regular feature in 
Indian plays), and their disregard of the " unities,' ' 
are really far more like the Elizabethan dramas of 
England. This, as Professor Macdonell remarks, is 
an instructive instance of how similar developments 
can arise independently. It should serve as a warn- 
ing to those who seize upon every chance coincidence 
to try and detect traces of Hellenic " influence " in 

We are not now concerned with the effects of the 
close intercourse between India and the later Eoman 
empire. Its extent is indicated by the frequent 
references to India by Greek and Eoman writers, and 
by the great numbers of Eoman coins found in dif- 
ferent parts of the country. An unmistakably 
Oriental cast of thought may be distinguished in 
Neo-Platonism, and in many phases of early Chris- 
tianity. Alexandria, the emporium of eastern trade, 
was especially a point of contact. The anchorites of 
the Egyptian deserts were not very far from the 
Hylobioi and Sramanaioi, the Brahman and Buddhist 
ascetics, mentioned by Clement of Alexandria. Qn 


the other hand, Indian astronomy betrays the fact 
that the borrowing was not all on one side. Two 
out of five of the Indian Siddhantas, or systems, come 
from the West. The Romaka Siddhanta is obviously 
western ; the Paulisa Siddhanta is probably based on 
the works of Paul of Alexandria {circa a.d. 378). At 
least one Greek astronomical term has passed into the 
classical language of India. 1 

Did the Greek invasion exercise any political in- 
fluence upon India ? This is not the least interesting 
of the questions falling within the scope of the present 
discussion. It seems more than probable that Alexander 
taught India what he had already demonstrated to the 
West, and that is, the idea of a great world-wide 
monarchy replacing the petty city-states which appear 
to have been almost universal in primitive Aryan com- 
munities. It may be argued, of course, that Chandra- 
gupta, the founder of the Maurya dynasty, and the 
first to try and realize the great ideal of the Chakkavatti 
Raja, the " Universal King," did not need the example 
of Alexander. He might have obtained his ideas from 
the older Achaemenian monarchy, and the use of Per- 
sian terms, such as chhatrapa (satrap) on Indian coins, 
may point in this direction. 2 

1 ^JTfonTj obviously the Greek ha^erpov. It is used by 
Kalidas (Kumarasambhava, Canto VII. ) in the sense of a sign of 
the zodiac— the seventh place on the horoscope, says Mallinath. 
Indian astronomy is full of Greek terms — e.g., Ara ("Aprjs), Heli 
(*H\ios), Jyan (Zevs), Jcriya (Kplos), tdvuri (ravpos), pdthona 
(7rap6ivos), jituma (Sidv/xos), dkokera (alyoKcpcos) trihona 
(Tpiycdvos), etc. See Von Schroeder, Indiens Literatur and 
Cultur, p. 726. 

2 But this word was borrowed from the Parthians, who were 
in close touch with Bactria, and not direct from Persia. The 


On the other hand, the Maurya monarchs, who re- 
volutionized the Indian system of government, had no 
dealings with the Persian empire, which had been over- 
thrown before their advent ; with the Hellenic world, 
on the contrary, the Mauryas were always in the closest 
touch. Some of the semi-Hellenic monarchs of the 
Middle East in the post-Alexandrian period, were in 
the habit of assuming the title of " Philhellen " to show 
their sympathies with Greek culture. This title might 
have been appropriately borne by Chandragupta and 
his successors. Chandragupta himself used to recall 
with pride, it is said, his meeting with the great con- 
queror in his youth, and a significant story tells of how 
he worshipped at the gigantic altars which the Mace- 
donians had erected on the banks of the Hyphasis 
before they turned back. Chandragupta married a 
Greek princess, and the Greek writer Megasthenes 
was a resident at his court, as Deimachus was at the 
court of his successor Bindusara. Stories have been 
preserved indicating the intimacy between the Indian 
and Syrian courts, and exchanges of presents and gifts 
of wine and drugs are mentioned. It is even possible 
that Greek teachers were sent to instruct these 
enlightened monarchs in the wisdom of the West. 1 
All things considered, it is difficult to escape the con- 
word Chakravarti is, of course, as old as the time of Gautama 
Buddha. Older monarchs had partially succeeded in subduing 
their neighbours — e.g., Ajatasatru, but to nothing like the same 
extent as Chandragupta. 

1 The influence of the West was strongest under Chandragupta, 
and died out after Asoka. Of course the court of Chandragupta 
was no more western than that of an enlightened eastern 
prince of to-day is. 



elusion that Greek ideas must have penetrated more 
freely than is usually supposed into India in the 
Maurya dynasty, and it seems almost impossible to 
deny the extreme probability that these rulers owed 
to Alexander their imperial conceptions. The great 
conqueror's name is still remembered all over the East, 
and the magic of his personality can hardly have failed 
to excite the admiration and emulation of his Indian 
contemporaries and successors. 1 


These are summarized exhaustively by Professor Macdonell, 
History of Sanskrit Literature (Bibliographical Notes to 
chap. xvi.). Mr. V. A. Smith (Early History of India) is one 
of the chief opponents of the theory of Greek influence in India. 
See also the highly important article by W. W. Tarn, in the 
Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. xxii. : " Notes on Hellenism 
in Bactria and India." For the Gandhara sculptures, M. Foucher 
is the leading authority (L'Art du Gandhara, Sur La Frontier e 
Indo-Afghane, etc.). See also Sir W. W. Hunter, Imperial 
Gazetteer of India, 1881, vol. iv., p. 261. A highly important 
article on "Hellenism" appears in the eleventh edition of the 
Encyclopedia Britannica, 

1 It should be added, however, that Alexander's name is 
unknown in Hindu literature. It was brought to India by the 
Mahommedans. Alexander subdued Persia. He only touched 
the fringe of India 




I. Prehistoric Dynasties of Eastern Iran. 

II. Persian Empire. 
Persian Kings. Satraps of Bactria. 

Cyrus, 550—529 b.c. 
Cambyses, 529 — 522 b.c. 

Darius I., 521—485 b.c. 
Xerxes I., 485—464 b.c. 

Artaxerxes I., 464 — 424 


Xerxes II., 424—423 b.c. 

Darius II., 423—404 b.c. 

Smerdis, son of Cyrus, 
executed by Cambyses. 

? Hystaspes (Vistaspa), 
father of Darius, satrap 
of Eastern Iran. 


i. Masistes (murdered). 

ii. Hystaspes (revolts on 
accession of Arta- 

? Secydianus or Sog- 
dianus, brother of the 
king, who eventually 
murders him. 




Persian Kmgs. Satraps of Bactria. 

Artaxerxes II., 404—358 ? 


Artaxerxes III., 358—336 ? 


Oarses, ? 336—335 b.c. ? 

Darius III., 335 — 330 b.c. Bessus, cousin of Da- 
rius (?). 
Oxyartes (Sogdia) cousin 
of Darius (?). 
(Bessus assumes the title of Artaxerxes IV., and 
is acknowledged by the princes of Eastern Iran; 
captured 329—328 b.c) 

III. Bactria under Alexander and his Successors. 

Governors of Bactria. 


Alexander, 328 — 323 b.c. j Amyntas. 

Tyriaspes, | Governors of 

Oxyartes, J Paropamisus. 
Partition of Triparadisus, Stasanor of Soli. 
321 b.c. ? Philip. 

? Nicanor. 
Seleucus L, 312—281 b.c. 
Antiochus I, 280—261 ? 


Antiochus II., 261—246 Theodotus (revolted 250 

B.C. B.C.). 


IV. Bactbia as an Independent Kingdom. 

(a) Kings of Bactria Proper. 

Diodotus L, 250—245 b.c. 1 
Diodotus II., 245—230 b.c. 
(Antimachus Theos, a pretender.) 
Euthydemus of Magnesia, 230—200 b.c. 

(b) Kings of Bactria and Sdgala. 

Demetrius, 200—160 b.c. 
Eucratides, 160—156 b.c. 
Apollodotus, 156 b.c. (?) 

Heliocles, 156 — 136 b.c. (Evacuation of Bactria 
about 135 b.c.) 

(c) Kings of Sdgala. 

Heliocles, 135 b.c. — ?. 

Menander, Emperor of the whole of the Panjab 
and Kabul, circa 165 — 130 b.c. 

(d) Subordinate Monarchs 2 (petty rulers subordinate 
to Bactria or Sagala, owning small principalities 
in Kabul or Panjab) 160 b.c. — a.d. 45. 

Euthydemus II. 
Antimachus II. 


Hermaeus, last Greek ruler 
in India, circa a.d. 45. 

1 The dates here given are mostly purely conjectural ; authori- 
ties differ widely on the subject. 

2 It is really futile in our present state of knowledge to try and 
arrange, still less to date, these petty princes, only known by 
their coins. See Vincent Smith, Early History of India, 
Appendices to chap. ix. 



Strato I. 
Strato II. 
Plato (165 B.C.). 










1. A coin figured by Gardner (Catalogue, etc., p. 19) 
has caused a good deal of trouble to numismatists. 
Gardner and the older authorities read the inscription 
on it as karisiyb nagara devata, " God of the city of 
Karisi." The identity of the mysterious " City of Karisi ' ' 
caused much expenditure of ingenuity. Von Gutschmid 
identified it with " Charis in Aria " (Encyclopedia 
Britannica, vol. xviii., p. 591, footnote, column 1). 
Ehys Davids, in his introduction to the Questions of 
Milinda, showed that it was " philologically possible " 
to connect it with Kalasi on the Indus, the birth- 
place of Milinda-Menander ! Professor Rapson, 1 how- 
ever, has shown that the reading on the coin is not 
karisiye, but kavisiye. This simplifies the problem 
immensely. "Kavisi" is kapisa, the name given to 
North-Eastern Afghanistan, the country north of the 

1 Eapson, J.B.A.S., 1905, p. 784. The suggestion was first 
made by Marquardt. These coins were also issued by Apollo- 
dotus and restruck by Eucratides. This complicates matters : 
who was Apollodotus ? If he was the predecessor of Eucratides, 
he cannot have been his murderer. Yet he seems to have been 
a contemporary of Menander. Cf. pp. 85, 112 n. 



Kabul Eiver. It is roughly equivalent to the Ki-pin 
of the Chinese annalists, though Ki-pin seems to 
include part of Kashmir as well (V. A. Smith, p. 220 
note). The coin in this case was merely struck to 
celebrate some conquest of Eucratides over the 
country to the south of the Parapamisus ; perhaps it 
was issued when he had won his great victory over 
Demetrius for local circulation, to emphasize the 
change of rulers. 

2. A more difficult problem is raised by the series 
(Gardner, Plate VII., 9-10) bearing the inscrip- 

It seems fairly clear that Laodice is a Seleucid 
princess, and the most reasonable supposition is that 
she was the daughter of Demetrius by his marriage 
with the daughter of Antiochus III. This seems fairly 
probable ; and, supposing for the moment we take it 
for granted, we are confronted by the problem, Who is 
the Heliocles of the coins ? 

Perhaps it would be better to classify the views 
which have been, or may be, held on the subject : 

(a) Heliocles is the son of Eucratides, 1 who after- 
wards succeeded him. It is possible that after 
deposing Demetrius, Eucratides attempted to con- 
ciliate his rivals by marrying his daughter to a prince 
of the fallen house, and this policy, too, might prevent 
any trouble with the Seleucid kings. It is noticeable 

1 Professor Ed. Meyer, in the new Encyclopedia Britannica, 
says that Heliocles is " probably his son," and the coins cele- 
brate his marriage to Laodice, " who may have been a Seleucid 


that Laodice, 1 a princess in her own right, is crowned 
on the coins with the royal fillet ; Heliocles, being 
merely a prince, has no insignia. 2 This seems to fit 
in with the views of von Sallet and von Gutschmid 
and others. 

(b) Gardner, however, has a strong argument to 
urge against this view. Can we possibly interpret the 
inscription in any other way but by supposing the 
ellipse of the usual TIOS ? The view stated above 
compels us to supply IIATHP, which would be most 
unnatural. It seems as if the inscription must 
bear its natural interpretation, "Eucratides, son of 
Heliocles and Laodice," and this view is supported 
strongly by the fact that the people figured in the 
coins are both elderly, and by the fact that Heliocles 
is not crowned — he lived and died a private citizen, 
though husband of a princess. The theory is further 
confirmed when we remember that in Greece it was 
extremely common to name a child after its grand- 
father. We are pretty certain that Eucratides had a 
son named Heliocles, and that lends additional prob- 
ability to the supposition that his father was named 
Heliocles too. If we take it as proved that the persons 
represented on the coins are the parents of Eucratides 
— and the cumulative evidence seems to point most 
curiously in favour of that conclusion — we are left to 
choose between two views, which we will label (c) and 
(d) respectively. 

(c) Eucratides ivas the grandson of his rival and 
predecessor Demetrius through Laodice, the latter's 
daughter. This is a bold view, but may be the 

1 Vide Catalogue, Plate V., 6-9. 2 Ibid., Plate VI., 6, 7. 


true one. Demetrius was married soon after the 
siege of Bactria, and LaodicS, if she is his daughter, 
might have been born as early as 206 b.c. But in 
that case Eucra tides, at the earliest, could hardly 
have been born before 192 b.c. We have strong 
grounds for believing that his accession to the throne 
took place in 174 b.c, as that was the date of the 
accession of Mithradates ; and Justin expressly tells 
us (XLI. 6, 1) that they both came to the throne 
about the same time. But according to this theory, 
he was only eighteen when he achieved his final 
victory, and that after a long conflict. This would 
certainly be a remarkable achievement for a mere boy. 
Again, if this be the case, we must put back the date 
of the death of Eucratides, as he certainly could 
not have had a son old enough to murder him and 
declare himself king (as described by Justin, XLI. 6) 
in 165 b.c, at which date Eucratides was himself 
under thirty on this hypothesis. But the date may 
be wrong. 

(d) Perhaps the most tenable theory is, that the 
Heliocles of the coins is the father of Eucratides, and 
Laodice his mother ; but that the latter was not the 
daughter of Demetrius by his Seleucid wife, but a 
relation — sister, cousin, or some such connection — 
who had accompanied her to Bactria, perhaps, when 
she was married to the young prince. On the other 
hand, Laodice is certainly a name which would point 
to direct descent from a Seleucid king (the first 
Laodice was the mother of the founder of the 
dynasty) ; and a striking point in favour of this 
theory (c) is found in the medals of Agathocles, de- 


scribed on p. 98. Agathocles apparently issues these 
medals in commemoration of his royal ancestors, and 
amongst these (they include Alexander the Great and 
Diodotus) is one which bears the image and super- 
scription of "Antiochus Nicator." I have tried to 
prove, on pp. 98-99, that this is Antiochus III. ; 
and if so, it seems that Agathocles traces his descent 
through a long line of kings back to Antiochus — 
i.e., that children of Demetrius and his Seleucid wife 
actually occupied the throne. 



Of late years it has been the fashion to minimize the 
influence of Greek Art on India. Messrs. Havell and 
Coomaraswamy have vindicated the independence of 
the Indian artistic tradition ; and it has been shown 
that the Gandhara sculptures belonged to the Indo- 
Scythian, and not to the Bactrian dynasties. Mr. 
V. A. Smith looks upon the Greek occupation of the 
Pan jab as purely military. An important inscription, 
however, has just been discovered which records that 
Greek workmen did work in India in the times of the 
Bactrian kings, and may, therefore, have influenced 
native craftsmen very considerably. The inscription 
is unique because it is the only contemporary Indian 
record of the Bactrian kings : 

" For the sake of Kashiputra-Bhagabhadra, the 
Saviour, king of Samkasya ; King Chandadasa caused 
the Garud pillar of Vasudeva, God of Gods, to be 
made here by Heliodorus son of Dion, a votary of 
Bhagavat, a Yona-data 1 (Greek) of Takhasila, who 
came from the Maharaja Antalkidas." The inscrip- 
tion is in Kharoshthi. It was found by Dr. Marshall at 

1 ? Dicta — i.e., an emissary from the Greeks. 


Besnagar, in Malwa. (The translation is Dr. Fleet's. 
For the original see J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 1092.) 

Another interesting inscription was that on the 
Buddha casket found in Kanishka's stupa at Peshawar, 
(J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 1058), recording that it was 
made by " Agesilaos, overseer of works at Kanishka's 
vihara, in the Sangarama of Mahasena." (Dasa 
agisala navakarmi kaniskasa vihare Mahasenasa Sanga- 
rdme.) Though this was actually after the extinc- 
tion of Greek rule, there were evidently many Greek 
craftsmen employed in the raja's courts. The stupa 
has Corinthian pillars. 1 

It is interesting to notice in the various Buddhist 
caves in the Bombay Presidency that the names of 
Yavana donors of sculptures, cisterns, pillars, etc., 
frequently occur. 2 In the case of the Karla caves, 
some of these inscriptions date from the second 
century a.d., and point to the continuance of Graeco- 
Buddhist settlements at quite a late date. Inscrip- 
tions Nos. 7 and 10 (Bombay Gazeteer, vol. xviii.), refer 
to pillars, the gifts of Sihadhaya and Dhama, Yavanas 
from Dhenukakata. 3 Perhaps these Yavanas took 

1 It should be noticed that while the Peshawar casket is Greek 
or Indo- Greek in type, the Garud pillar from Bhilsa, like the 
so-called Yavana work in the Buddhist caves, is purely 
Indian. The reading Agisala has been questioned. 

2 The earliest mention of Yavana workmanship appears to be 
in the Girnar inscription in Kathiawar, which records that the 
Girnar Lake was " furnished with conduits by the Yavana Eaja 
Tushaspa for Asoka." Tushaspa appears by his name to have 
been a Persian, a relic of the Alexandrian conquest. 

3 Benakataka in the Nasik district. See Kapson, Andhra 
Cat., Introd., xxix., xlvii. 


Buddhist names on their conversion. 1 So the 
Yavanas in the Milinda-Panha have (apparently) 
Indian names. Or perhaps they retained very little 
of their Greek origin except a tradition of their birth. 

In the Nasik caves we find one lena owned by 
" Indragnidatta, son of Dhammadeva, a Yonaka from 
the north, from Dattamitra." Here both father and 
son appear to have Hindu names. Their residence, 
Dattamitra, in Sind, is thought to have been founded 
by Demetrius. 

In the ~unnar caves we have three inscriptions 
referring to Greeks : one of them is named " Irila," 2 
which sounds suspiciously like a Greek name, perhaps 
Euryalus, or something of that kind. 

(See the Indian Antiquary, January, 1911, pp. 12- 
14 etc.) 

1 So the Chinese pilgrims took the title of Sakyaputra (Shih 
in Chinese). 

2 Arch. Sur. W. India, iv., No. 5, p. 92. 



There is no proof positive that Buddhism became the 
religion of the Bactrian kings of Sagala. There is, 
however, nothing against such a supposition; the 
probabilities, indeed, are in its favour. That con- 
verts were made, even to the more conservative 
Hinduism, among the Greeks has been proved by the 
inscription quoted in Appendix III. Asoka was 
anxious to make Greek converts, and in later days 
there were colonies of " Yavana " Buddhists, as the 
Karla Cave inscriptions show. Agathocles is the first 
prince to mint coins with Buddhist symbols. Men- 
ander, curiously enough, besides the epithet dhrami- 
kdsa (Ac/ccdov), has nothing very definitely Buddhist 
in his coinage; but the evidence for his conversion 
seems, to my mind, overwhelming. Firstly, there 
is the tradition embodied in the Milinda Pafiha, 
which, I think, is certainly not a mere romance 
of the type of Xenophon's Cryopcedia. Secondly 
there is the story of his funeral. In Plutarch's tract 
Reipublicce Gerendce Prcecepta, p. 821, occurs the 
following passage : 

161 11 


11 A certain Menander ruled with equity among the 
Bactrians, and died in the field during a campaign. 
The states in other respects joined together in cele- 
brating his obsequies, but over his relics a dispute 
arose among them, which was after some difficulty 
settled upon the following terms : each was to take 
back an equal share of his ashes, that memorials 
(/>t^yL6eta=stupas, dagabas) might be set up among 
them all." l Now, this is precisely the kind of funeral 
which was accorded to Gautama Buddha, as described 
in the Maha-Parinibbana-sutta (S.B.E. XL, p. 131). 
There, too, seven tribes met and quarrelled over his 
ashes, and were finally pacified by an agreement that 
each should take a part. These were taken by the 
recipients to their own countries and enshrined in 

This practice is practically peculiar to Buddhism, 
and confirms the Siamese tradition of Menander's 
conversion, and even of his attainment of Arhatship. 2 

It mm& be taken for granted that Buddhism made 
converts pretty freely among the various foreign 
tribes on the North-Western Frontier. 3 It finally 
became the religion of the Kushans, and under 
Kaniska reached its climax. This popularity of 

1 Mcvdvdpov de twos iv Bdicrpois €7ti€lko>s fiacriXevcravTos etr' 
aTToSavovros eVl <rrparo7redov, rrjv p,ev aXkrjv iiroiriaravTo K-qdeidv 
Kara to kowov at noXeis • nepl 8e tcov Xeiyjsdvcov clvtov KaTacrTavTcs 
els dycova, jjloXls o"vvif$T)craV) wore veifidpevoi jxipos 'Lvov Trjs T€<f>pas 
direkSfiv K.CU ycvioSai fivrffiela Trapa ttclvi tov dvbpos. 

2 Von Gutschmid, however, compares what happened on the 
death of Alexander. 

3 E.g., the Greeks, the Indo-Parthians (so-called), and the 


Buddhism among the Scythian tribes from Peshawar 
to Balkh and Khotan, raises the interesting question 
whether Gautama himself did not belong to a clan 
which was Scythian by origin. If the Sakyas w&re 
originally Sakas (Sacae or Scythians), it would 
account for many of the puzzling features of that 
creed : its unmetaphysical and un-Indian character, 
(in spite of the Indian garb in which it was, naturally 
enough, put forward), its attack on caste, abhorrence 
of bloodshed, worship of relics, etc. The d&gdba, or 
stupa, which is such a feature of Buddhism, has been 
traced to the conical Tartar tents by Fergusson and 
others. 1 The " ancestral temples " of the Scythians 
described by Herodotus (IV. 62, 72, 124, etc.) may 
have been rude dagabas erected to cover the body of 
the semi-divine chieftain and the victims who accom- 
panied him. One of the keenest of the clans who 
strove for relics of the Buddha were the Vaggi of 
Vesali. Beal (Life of Hiuen Tsang, §§ 5-7, J.R.A.S., 
XIV. 39, etc.) has tried to show that these are none 
other than the Yue-Chi, and as such appear in regular 
Scythic garb on the Sanchi sculptures. If this is so, 
there were Scythians in India in the days of Gautama, 
and there is no reason to doubt that the Sakyas, like 
the Vaggi, were two clans of this nation. 

1 Or to the shape of the funeral pyre. 



I. Justin. 

(a) Opulentissimum illud mille urbium Bactrianum 
imperium.— -XLL 1. 

(b) Hi (Parthi) postea, diductis Macedonibus in 
bellum civile cum ceteris superioris Asiae populis, 
Eumenem secuti sunt; quo victo ad Antigonum 
transiere. Post hunc a Nicatore Seleuco, ac mox ab 
Antiocho et successoribus eius possessi: a cuius 
pronepote Seleuco primum defecere, primo Punico 
bello, L. Manlio Vulsone, M. Attilio Eegulo Consulibus. 
. . . Eodem tempore Theodotus, mille urbium Bac- 
trianarum preefectus, defecit, regemque se appellari 
jussit; quod exemplum secuti totius (Mentis populi 
a Macedonibus defecere. — (XLI. iv.). 

(c) Eodem ferme tempore, sicut in Parthis Mithri- 
dates ; ita in Bactris Eucratides,magni uterque viriregna 
ineunt. Sed Parthorum fortuna felicior ad summum, 
hoc duce, imperii fastigium eos perduxit. Bactriani 
autem per varia bella jactati non regnum tan turn, 
verum etiam libertatem amiserunt : siquidem Sogdian- 
orum et Drangianorum Indorumque bellis fatigati, 



ad postremum ab invalidioribus Parthis, velut ex- 
sangues, oppressi sunt. Multa tamen Eucratides bella 
magna virtute gessit, quibus attritus, cum obsidionem 
Demetrii, regis Indorum, pateretur, cum CCC. militibus, 
LX. millia hostium assiduis eruptionibus vicit. Quinto 
itaque mense liberatus, Indiam in potestatem redegit. 
Unde cum se reciperet, a filio quern socium regni 
fecerat, interficitur : qui, non dissimulato parricidio, 
velut hostem non patrem interfecisset, et per sanguinem 
eius currum egit, et corpus abici insepultum iussit. 
Dum haec apud Bactros geruntur, interim inter 
Parthos et Medos bellum oritur. — (XLI. iv.) 

(d) (Seleucus) principio Babylona cepit, inde, auctis 
ex victoria rebus, Bactrianos expugnavit. — (XV. iv.) 

II. Stbabo. 

(a) N€(i)Tpi<r0€VT(DV Se rSv e£(o tov Tavpov Sid to 7rpbs 
aXXois 1 eivai rovs rrjs *2vpia<$ Kal tt)s MrjSias fiacriXeas, rovs 
e^ovras Kal ravra, irpQ>TOV pev airkcrTrjcrav ol TreiricrTevpevoi tyjv 
BaKTpiavrjv, kcu tyjv eyyvs avrrjs iracrav ol 7repl J&vOvSYjpov. 
. . . 3 AcfreiXovTO Se (ol Uapdvaioi) Kal rrjs ISaKTptavrjs pepos 
/Siacrdpevoi rovs ^KvOas, koI en nporepov rovs irepl 'l&vKpa- 

(b) ol Se BaKTpbavbv Xeyovcriv avrbv (Arsaces), <f>evyovra 
Se tyjv av^rjcrtv rQiV irepl AioSotov, airocnr)o-ai tyjv Hap8vaiav. 

(Geog., XL ix., §§ 2-3.) 

(c) TtJs Se BaKT/)tas p*epY) pev Tiva rrj Apia, 7rapa/3e/3XrjraL 
7rpbs dpKTOv rd 7roXXd S y virepKeirai irpbs fa>" ttoWyj S' ecrrl 
Kal it apropos ttXyjv eXaiov. Toctovtov Se icr\vcrav ol diroo'rr)- 
cravTes "J&XXrjves avrr)v Sid tyjv dperr)v tyjs X^pas, &vre tyjs 

1 MSS. npos dWrfkovs. 


Aptavrjs e7r eKpdrrjcrav, Kat tcov Iv8cov, cos <J>y)(tlv \A7roAA08copos 
6 AprafiLT7]vbs } kcu 7rA€tco e8vrj Karecrrpexf/avTO rj 'AAe£av8oos, 
Kat jjidXicrTa MevavSpos' eiye /cat tov "Y^ao-tv 1 SiefSrj wpbs eco> 
/cat ^XP L T0 ^ 2oavou 2 7rporjX6e* rd /xev yap avrbs, rd 8e 
ArjfjarjTptos 6 ILvOvSrjiJLOv vlbs tov BaKT/otW /JacrtAecos, ov /xovov 
8e t>)v IlaTTaA^v^v /caTea-^ov, dAAa /cat t^s dXXrjs irapaXias 
Trjv re Sapadcrroi; 3 KaXovfievrjVy /cat tt)v 2ty€/0Tt8os /JacrtAetav. 
Ka#' oAo.i; 8e cj>r)triv eneivos, t?}s crvfX7rdcrrjs Apcavrjs irpoo-xqixa 
eTvat rrjv Ba/crptavryv. Kat 8?) /cat ^XP L ^pcov /cat ^pvvcov 
e^eretvav rr)V dpxrjv. 

(d) IldActs 8' €t)(°v Ta T€ Ba/cr/oa Tjvn-ep Kat ZaotdaTrav, ^v 
Stappel oputivvfios 7rdra/>to§ l/x/3dAAcov els tov"0£ov, Kat Adpaxpav 
Kat aAAas 7rA€toi>s. Toirrcov 8* ^i/ Kat ^ EvKpartSta tov 
ap£avros €7T(j!>vvfJLOS. Ot 8e Karaa-xovres avTrjv "EXXrjvts Kat 
Is a-arpaireias SeyprJKKao-iv, coV riqv re 'Acr7rtc6vov Kat rrjv 
Tovpiovav dcf>rjprjvro EvKpaTtSrjv ol Hap8viaiOi. w Eo"X ol/ 8e 
Kat rrjv 2oy8tav>)v virepKeifJLevrjv 7rpbs eo> tt}s BaKTOtav??s. . . . 

(e) Tb /xev ow 7raAatov ov 7roXv Ste<f)epov rots /Slots Kat 
rots rjOevi twv No/xd8cov ot' T€ 2oyStavot Kat ot BaKT/navot. 
fjiiKpbv 8' o/xcos rjfJL€p(jjTepa tfv rd rcov BaKT/otavcov • dAAa Kat 
7T€pt toi'tcov ov rd /SeXricrTa Xeyova-iv ol 7repl 'Ovf/crtKptTov * 
rovs ydp aTreiprjKOTas 8ta voVov 7] yfjpas, 7rapa/3dXXeo-6ai 
rpecf>ofxevois kvctIv, eTTirri^es 8e 7rpbs toi;to_, ovs " 'EvTac^tacrras" 
KaAetcr^at t# warptoa yXiorrrf ■ Kat opdcrdat Tot /xev e£co ret^ovs 
tt}s fxr)Tp07r6Xecos tcov BaKT/ocov KaOapd' tcov 8' euros to 7rAeov 
dcrrecov 7rXrjpes dvOpcoTrlvcov' KaraXvcrat 8e tov vo/aov 3 AXe£- 
avSpov. TotavTa 8e 7ra>s Kat Tot 7T€/)t tovs Kao~7rtovs tcrTopo{;o"t ' 
tovs ya/) yoveas e7ret8av e/SSofja^Kovra errj yeyovores rvyxdvcocnv 
ey KXeurQevTes X i [xoKroveicr 6 'at. ToCto ^ev ouv aveKTOTepov Kat 
TO) otK€tto vdjitco TrapaTrXiqcriov Kaiirep ov ^kvOlkov 7roXv fiev 
Tot ^KvOtKiorepov to tcov BaKTptavcov. 

(/) ^acrt 8' ovv okto) 7rdA€ts t5v 'AAe^avSpov ev tc tyj 

1 MSS. "Yiraviv . . . 'icra/iou. 
3 MSS. Tea-craptdcrrov. 


BaKTpiavfj kclI rfj *2oy8iavfj ktio-cu, rtvas 81 Karao-Kaxpat &v 
Kaptara? fxkv tyjs BaKrpiavYjs, kv fj ILaXXicrOkvYjs ctvv€Xyj(^6yj 
Kal 7rape860rj <f>vXaKfj, M.apaKav8a 8e tyjs ^oy8tavYJs koI ra 
Kvpa €cr\aTov ov K.vpov KTia-fxa kirl tw 'Ia£dpTYj TrorajjOj) 
Ketfievov, 07rep rjv optov tyjs ILepo-tov ap^rjs • Karaa-Kaxf/ai 8e rb 
KTia-fia tovto, Kaiwep ovia cfrtXoKvpov, 8ca ra$ TTVKvas aVocr- 
rdo-eis' eXeiv 8e Kal 7T€Tpas kpvpivas <Tcf>68pa €K 7rpo86cr€<DS, tyjv 
T€ kv Trj BaKTpiavfj tyjv *2i<rinWpov kv fj ^tyev '0£vdpTYjs tyjv 
Ovyarkpa 'Pa^av^v, Kal tyjv kv rfj y 2oy8tavfj Kal tyjv tov 
v I2£ou, 06 8e y Aptaj3d^ov cfracri. Tyjv jxkv ovv ^EtcnpiOpov 7revT€- 
Kat8eKa crraStwv IcrropovcrL to vxpos 6y8orjKOVTa 8e tov kvkXov ' 
ai'w 8e kiTLTr&ov Kal etryewv, oo~ov irtvTaKoviovs dv8pas rpefacv 
8vvafJLevrjv, kv fj Kal £evtas tvx*w 7roXvTeXovs Kal ydjxovs 
dyayelv 'Bio^dvYjs tyjs 3 0£vdprov Ovyarpos tov AXe£av8pov. 
Tyjv 8e tyjs *2oy8tavYJs 8nrXa(riav to v<f>os cfya&L TLepl tovtovs 
81 tovs T07T0VS Kal to tcov Bpayx&cov dcrrv dveXeiv. 

(g) Tov Se 8ia tyjs SoyStav?}? pkovra 7roTa/xbv kKTrlineiv els 
epYjfxov Kal dfjLfjL(t>8Y} yrjv, KaTairivevdai T€ €ts tyjv a/x/xov, a>s Kal 
Tov"Apiov tov 6V 'Apmv pkovra (Geog., XL xi., §§ 1-5). 


(a) Bactrianae terra multiplex et varia natura est. 
Alibi multa arbor et vitis largos multosque fructus 
alit ; solum pingue crebri fontes rigant ; qui mitiora 
sunt, frumento conseruntur : caetera armentorum 
pabulo cedunt. Magnam deinde partem ejusdem 
terrse steriles arenae tenent : squalida siccitate regio 
non hominem, non frugem alit : cum vero venti a 
Pontico mari spirant, quidquid sabuli in campis jacet, 
converrunt. Quod ubi cumulatum est, magnorum 
collium procul species est, omniaque pristini itineris 
vestigia intereunt. Itaque, qui transeunt campos, 


navigantium modo noctu sidera observant, ad quorum 
cursum iter dirigunt : et propemodum clarior est 
noctis umbra quam lux. Ergo interdiu in via est 
regio, quia nee vestigium quod sequantur inveniunt ; 
et nitor siderum caligine absconditur. Ceterum, si 
quos ille ventus, qui a mari exoritur, deprehendit, 
arena obruit. Sed qua mitior terra est, ingens 
hominum equorumque multitudo gignitur. [Itaque 
Bactriani equites XXX millia expleverunt.] 

Ipsa Bactra, regionis eius caput, sita sunt sub 
monte Paropamisso. Bactrus amnis praeterit moenia : 
is urbi et regioni dedit nomen (De Rebus Oestis Alex- 
andri Magni, VII. 4). 

(b) Sogdiana regio maiori ex parte deserta est; 
octingenta fere stadia in latitudinem vastae solitudines 
tenent. Ingens spatium rectae regionis est, per quam 
amnis (Polytimetum vocant incolae), fertur torrens. 
Eum ripae in tenuem alveum cogunt ; deinde caverna 
accipit, et sub terram rapit. Cursus absconditi in- 
dicium est aquae meantis sonus; cum ipsum solum, 
sub quo tantus amnis flint, ne modico quidem resudet 
humore {Ibid., VII. 10). 

(c) Sunt autem Bactriani inter illas gentes promp- 
tissimi, horridis ingeniis, multumque a Persarum 
luxu abhorrentibus ; siti haud procul Scytharum 
gente bellicosissima, et rapto vivere assueti ; sem- 
perque in armis erant (Ibid., IV. 6). 


IV. Miscellaneous. 

(a) e H BaKTpiavrj X^P a noXXais Kal fieydXais oiKOVfxzvr) 
WoXeOTL fJLLOLV pXv €L\€V €7TL(jyaV€CrTdTrjV ev fj arvvkfiaivtv etvai rot 
/?acrtA,€6a ' avTT] S J iKaXeiro pXv Ba/crpa fxeyeOet 8e Kal rrf 

KdTCi OLKpOTToXlV 6\VpOT7]Tl TToXv 7TaOW 8Ucf)€p€ (DiodOHlS 

Siculus, II. 6). 

(6) s A<f> ov ^XP L v " v * v Ba/oi>ya£bts 7raAaiai irpoywpovcri 
Spax/JLOLL ypdfAiAacnv 'EAA/^vtKois ky Ktyapay frivol tTTicrrjfJLa twv 
fier' 'AXe£av8pov fSe/Sao-iXevKOTUv AttoXXoSotov Kal MwdvSpov 
(Periplus Maris Rrythrcei, XLVIL). 

(c) MevdvSpov Se tlvos kv Ba/cr/oots €7rt€tKcos fiacriXevcravTOS 
€?t' dwoOavovTOS kirl crrpaTOTreSov, rrjv pXv dXXrjv iiroLrjcravTO 
K7]8eiav Kara to koivov at 7roAets * 7repl 8e tcov Xecxf/dvojv avTov 
KaracrravTes cts dywva, 7rdAts (rvve/Srjcrav, gxttc veipLafievot 
fxcpos icrov tyjs T€(j>pas aneXQelv Kal yevko-Qai fjLvrjfMeia irapd 
7rd(TL tov dvSpos (Plutarch, Republics Gerendce, p. 821). 





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C EUXINE 2>£A ) ^ 

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Agathocleia, 101, 152 

Agathocles, 97, 152 

Agni, 23 

Ahriman, 23 

Alasanda, 113 

Alexander Mgus ("A\\os\ 47 

Alexander the Great, 34-50, 

51, 146 
Alexandria-on-Indus, 52, 77, 

Alexandria Ultima, 42 
Amyntas, 48, 151 
Anabasis of Arrian, xvi (Int.) 
Ancyra, battle of, 57 
Andragoras, 57 
Androsthenes of Cyzicus, 72 
Angra Mainyu, 23 
An-si (Parthia), 94 
Antialcidas, 102, 152, 158 
Antigonus, 51-53, 55 
Antimachus I. (Theos), 62, 

Antimachus II. (Nicephorus), 

100, 102, 151 
Antiochus II., 54, 58 
Antiochus III. (the Great), 7, 
his invasion of Bactria, 
Antipater, 47 
Aornus, 38 
Apama, 47 

Apollodotus, 85, 113 n., 151 

Apollophanes, 152 

Aral Sea, 6 

Archebius, 151 

Ardvisura (Oxus), 9 n. 

Arhat (Buddhist saint), 110, 

Aria, 1 

Ariana Antiqua, xx. (Int.) 
Arimazes, 7, 44 
Aristobulus, 16 
Armenia, 13, 19 
Arsaees I., 56 
Arsaces II., 60 
Artabanus, 65, 67, 93 
Artabazus, 43, 45 
Artaxerxes I. (Longimanus), 

32, 149 
Artaxerxes II. (Mnemon), 9, 

Artaxerxes III., 150 
Artaxerxes IV. (Bessus), 16, 

34, 35, 41, 150 
Artemidorus, 152 
Artocoana (Herat), 37 
Asoka, 71, 100, 121 
Assafoetida (silphium), 2 
Assyria, 25 
Asura, 21 
Asva-medha (Horse Sacrifice), 

Athenodorus, 48 
Atropatene, 23 
Avesta, xv (Int.) 
Azes, 115, 127 n. 





Babelon, M., xx (Int.) 
Bactra, description of, 6-12 
revolt of, 55-58 
sieges of, 7, 69 
Bactria, derivation, 1 n. 
Bactriana, 2 n. 
Bactrus River, 6 
Balkh, 1 n. 
Barca, 32 
Barsaentes, 37 
Barygaza, 112 
Bayer, xx (Int.) 
Behistun Inscr. 1, 29 
Berosus, xvi (Int.) 
Bevan, Mr. E. R., xx (Int.) 
Bhilsa, 123, 137 
Bico, 48 
Bindusara, 73 
Brahmi script, 82 n., 97 n. 
Buddhism, 99-100, 120-121, 

127, 162-163 
Buddhist Rail, 99, 140 


Cambyses, 27, 28 

Camels (Bactrian), 3 n. 

Carmanian desert, 1 

Cassander, 47 

Caucasus, 8 

Chandragupta Maury a, 49, 53, 

Chang-Kien, 94 
China, 42, 75, 91-92 
Chinese pilgrims, xix (Int.) 
Cleitarchus, xviii (Int.) 
Clement of Alexandria, xvii 

(Int.), 10 
Clementine Becognitions, 11- 

Clitus, 45 
Cobares, 15 

"Conspiracy of the Pages," 47 
Cophen, 76 
Ctesias, xv, 26 n., 27 w. 

Cunningham, Sir A., xxii 

Curtius, Q., xvii (Int.) 
Cyropolis, 26, 42 
Cyrus the Great, 8, 25-27 

Dagaba, 163 
Dahse, 18 
Dakhma, 12, 40 
Dardases, 29 
Darius the Great, 28-31 
Darius Codomannus, 34 
Dataphernes, 41 
Deccan, the, 6, 27, 43 
Demetrius, 76-81, 152 
Devas, the, 21 
Diodorus Siculus, xvi (Int.) 
Diodotus I., 56-63, 151 
Diodotus II., 58-63, 151 
Diomedes, 102 
Dioscuri (patron saints of 

Eucratides), 82, 83 
Drangiana, 37 
Drapsaea, 38 
Du Bois, Abbe, 3 


Ecbatana, 8 

Elymais, 8 

" Entombers " (eWa<£iaoTcu')> 

dogs who devour the dead, 

11-12, 39 
Epitome of Justin, xvii (Int.) 
Equestrian Order in Bactria, 

Erygius, 40 

Eucratides, 79-89, 101, 153 
Eudamus, 52, 115 
Eumenes, 51 
Euthydemia, 76 
Euthydemus I., 64-74, 101 
Euthydemus II., 96 

Firdousi, xv (Int.), 25 
Foucher, M., xxiii (Int.) 




Gandhara art, 141 
Gaugamela, 15, 106 
Gedrosia, 27, 38, 141 n. 
Gustaspa, 24 


Hadrian, xvi (Int.) 
Hari-rud (Arius), 2 
Havell, Mr., xxiii, 158 
Heliocles, 84, 85, 89-93, 101, 

Helmund, 38 
Hercules, 77 
Hermaeus, 128 
Herodotus, xvi (Int.) 
Hindu-Kush, 1, 2, 38 
Hippostratus, 138 
Hiuen Tsiang, xix (Int.) 
Hyphasis (Hypanis), 125 
Hystaspes, 28 

Iran, 19 

Ipsus, battle of, 54 

Jaxartes, 27, 42 
Justin, xvii (Int.) 


Kabul, 53, 71-74 
Kadphises I., 128 
Kalasi (Karisi), 115, 153 
Kandahar, 38 
Kaniska, 99, 138, 139 
Karachi, 6 
Karla Caves, 140 
Kausia (sun-hat), 84, 102 
Kavisi (Kapisa), 153 
Kharoshthi script, 30, 82 w., 

Ki-pin, 154 
Kushan, 128 

Lade, battle of, 32 
Laodice, 155 
Lydia, 25 
Lysias, 102 


Madhyamika, 123 
Magadha, 53 
Magi, Magu, 23, 28 
Maharaja (Meyas ftacnXevs), 82- 

Mahavamso, 115 
Malala, John of, 100 n. 
Malavihagnimitra, 122 
Maracanda, 7, 42, 45 
Marathas, 6 
Mardonius, 31 
Margiana, 29 
Masistes, 30, 31 
Massagetae, 27 
Mathura, 103 
Maues. * See Moga 
Maurya dynasty, 53, 74 
McCrindle, xviii (Int.) 
Mazda, Ahura, 21 
Medes, 25, 26 
Medic herb (lucerne), 2 
Megasthenes, 74 
Mekran, 6, 27 

Menander = Milinda, 108 ff. 
Milinda Panha (Questions of 

Milinda), xix (Int.), Ill, 

Mithra, Mitra, 20, 139 
Mithradates I., 79, 116 
Moga (Maues), 105, 114-115, 

Mycale, battle of, xvi (Int.), 31 
Mylitta, 9 


Nagasena, 113 
Nanda dynasty, 53 
Narmada (Nerbudda) 121 



Ochus, 44 
Oxus, 1, 6, 40, 44 
Oxyartes, 43, 46, 49-52 

Pallas 127 

Pantaleon, 97, 99, 102, 152 

Paraetacene, 45 

Parapamisus, 3, 49 

Parthia, 49, 54-57, 90-93, 120, 

Pasargadae, 24 
Pataliputra, 121, 122 
Patanjali, 123 n., 142 n. 
Pattalene, 75, 76 
- r Peithon, 49 
Perdiccas, 50 
Periplus, 113 
Persia, 19 

Philip of Macedon, 98 
Philip the Praetor, 49 
Philippic History of Trogus, 

xviii (Int.) 
Photius, xvi (Int.) 
Phrynoi, 75 
Porus, kingdom of, 104 
Pushyamitra, 112, 116, 121 


Questions of Milinda. See 
Milinda Panha 


Raghae, Eai, 23, 36 
Rajavula, 103 
Regulus, consul, 55 
Roxane, 103 ff. 9 167 

Sacaea, 8-16 
Sacastene, 107 
Sagala, 74, 76, 79, 113-114 
Sai, Sse, Sok (Chin.), Scythian 

tribes, 2, 14, 69, 70, 77, 87, 

88, 101-106, 109-120 

Saka (Sans.), Sacae (Lat.), 103 

Sakya tribe, 163 

Sallet, Von, xxii (Int.) 

Saraostos, 75-76 

Sarnath, Asokan pillar at, 140 

Satibarzanes, 37 

Satrap (Chhatrapa), 78, 82-83 

Scylax of Caryanda, 30 

Scythian. See Saka 

Seleucus Nicator, 47, 49, 51 

Seleuces Callinicus 60, 61, 71 

Semiramis, xvi (Int.) 

Seres, 74-75 

Shahnama, xv (Int.) 

Sigerdis, 75, 76 

Sisimithres, 6, 45, 47 

Smerdis, 26, 28 

Smith, V. A., xx, xxiii (Int.), 

Soanus (son), 124 
Sogd, R. (Polytimetus), 5 
Sogdian Rock, 45 
Sogdiana, 2, 26, 43-49 
Soma, 20 
Sophagasena (Subhagasenus), 

Spitamenes, 41, 43, 44 
Stasanor of Soli, 49, 52 
Stein, Aurel, xxii (Int.) 
Strabo, xviii (Int.) etjpassim 
Strato, 101, 152 
Surashtra, 120 

Tayovpia (Ta Tpvplava), 68 
Ta-hia (Parthia), 94 
Tarn, Mr. W. W., xxii n. 
Taxila, 103 
Tejend, 53, 58 
Teleas of Magnesia, 69 
Theodotus (Diodotus), 56 
Tiridates, 61 
Towers of Silence, 12 
Triparadisus, conference at, 



Trogus Pompius, xvii n. 
Turanians, xv (Int.), 12, 22 
Tyriaspes, 49 

Utch, 114 


Varuna, 20 

Vasumitra, 123 

Vayu, 20 

Vendidad, 11, 24 

Vistaspa, 28 

Vulso, L. M., consul, 55 


Wilson, H. H.,xx (Int.) 
Wroth, Mr. W., xxi (Int.) 


Xenophon, xix (Int.), 32 
Xerxes, 30-33, 149 

Yama, 20 

Yavana, Yona (Ionian), 106, 

114, 115, 119, 122, 123, 159- 

Yavanika (stage curtain), 142 
Yojana, 113 
Yue-chi, 92, 128 


Zadracarta, 37 

Zarafshan, xvii (Int.), 5, 17 

Zarathustra (Zoroaster), xv 

(Int.), 8, 11, 22-25 
Zela, 8 




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